the research

A major public policy concern in the long-term care field is the potential burden an aging society will place on the care-giving system. The “2030 problem” involves the challenge of assuring that sufficient  healthcare  services are available when the elderly population is twice what it is today. Much of this growth will be prompted by the aging of the Baby Boomers, who in 2030 will be aged 66 to 84—the “young old”—and will number approximately 61 million people.

  • It is estimated that 17% of the people who live to 75 will live until 100
  • 42% of eldercare providers care for their parents
  • 4% care for their spouse or unmarried partner
  • 85% provide care to seniors who do not live with them
  • 20% of eldercare providers care for 3 or more seniors
  • In the United States alone, more than 500,000 older adults are believed to be abused or neglected each year
  • In 2008 state programs investigated nearly 21,000 complaints of abuse, exploitation, and gross negligence among nursing home residents.

american psychological association

  • Recent data indicate that an estimated 20.4 percent of adults aged 65 and older met criteria for a mental disorder
  • 15-20 percent of older adults in the United States have experienced depression (Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, 2008). Approximately 11 percent of older adults have anxiety disorders (AOA, 2001)
  • Current estimates suggest that 1 in 8 persons over 65 has Alzheimer’s disease; a total of approximately 5.4 million older Americans. This number will continue to grow as the proportion of the U.S. population over the age of 65 increases (Alzheimer’s Association, 2012)
  • People with dementia often suffer from depression, paranoia and anxiety
  • In 2010, at least 8 million older adults had one or more mental health/substance use conditions
  • The number of older adults in need of substance abuse treatment is estimated to increase from 1.7 million in 2000 and 2001 to 4.4 million in 2020
  • Negative, modifiable behaviors that may contribute to the onset of or exacerbate chronic diseases include poor nutrition, inactivity, smoking and alcohol misuse 

Published on Family Caregiver Alliance

Impact of Caregiving on Caregiver's Physical Health

  • Research shows that caregiving can have serious physical health consequences as well, 17% of caregivers feel their health in general has gotten worse as a result of their caregiving responsibilities
  • 11% of family caregivers report that caregiving has caused their physical health to deteriorate
  • 21% of older caregivers caring for those 65+ report a higher degree of physical strain, compared to 13% who are younger
  • Women (16%) more than men (11%) report having more stress in caregiving responsibilities, (4-5 on a 5 point scale).65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. adult population providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged
  • 52 million caregivers provide care to adults (aged 18+) with a disability or illness
  • 43.5 million of adult family caregivers care for someone 50+ years of age and 14.9 million care for someone who has Alzheimer's disease or other dementia


Mental Health and Older Adults /World Health Organization 

Growing Mental Health and Behavioral Health Concerns Facing Older Americans / American Psychological Association

Understanding New Rules that Widen Mental Health Coverage / New York Times 

Mental Health and Older Americans/ American Psychological Association 

Family Caregiving 

When a Family Needs an Umpire/ New York Times 

Oh, Brother! With Parents Aging, Squabbling Siblings Turn to Elder Mediation