While there are millions of caregivers across the country, one recent report conducted by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has highlighted the state of New York, where there are almost 2 million adults attending to family members or neighbors.
These caregivers attend to loved ones about 13 hours a week and provide an estimated economic value of $20 billion in care each year.
"The approximate statewide value of informal caregiving is on par with the total amount that New York state paid for Medicaid long-term care services in 2008," said Dr. Pat Bomba.
While some caregivers help older adults with day-to-day errands, others provide more intensive treatments, assisting with medication and recovery from injuries.
Employed women make up the majority of caregivers (59.9 percent). A total of 62 percent of caregivers have been attending a patient for less than four years, while one-third have been responsible for another adult for longer.
Caregiving can cause stress and financial difficulties, which is why it can be important to install a senior alert system in an older adult's residence. This can allow patients to immediately send a medical alert if they need assistance and may allow caregivers some peace of mind while at work or away from home.