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Unpaid Eldercare in the United States: 2011-2012 Summary

News release: “Sixteen percent of the U.S. civilian noninstitutional population age 15 and over (39.6 million people) provide unpaid eldercare, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Nearly one-fourth of eldercare providers engage in unpaid eldercare on a given day, spending an average of 3.2 hours providing this care. These estimates are averages for the 2-year period of 2011-12; combining the 2 years of data facilitates a more in-depth analysis of eldercare. Eldercare providers are defined as individuals who provide unpaid care to someone age 65 or older who needs help because of a condition related to aging. This care can be provided to household or nonhousehold members, as well as persons living in retirement homes or assisted care facilities. Eldercare can involve a range of care activities, such as assisting with grooming, preparing meals, and providing transportation. Eldercare also can involve providing companionship or being available to assist when help is needed, and thus it can be associated with nearly any activity.”

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