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Caregiver & Elder Care News

New Fact Sheets on Critical Caregiving Issues Offered Free by Family Caregiver Alliance

Developed in response to needs for clear, unbiased information about caregiving

Sept. 21, 2011 - Five new fact sheets detailing critical issues in caregiving and long-term care in the U.S. have been released by the Family Caregiver Alliance's National Center on Caregiving.

The new and updated publications join a comprehensive library of more than 60 FCA fact sheets that span the breadth of topics relating to family caregiving, from financial implications, to policy impacts, demographics, chronic health conditions, caregiver health and family dynamics.

"The fact sheets are used by families, service providers, researchers, policy experts, reporters and legislative staffs, and in healthcare and academic settings as well,” according to FCA Executive Director Kathleen Kelly.

“They were developed in response to needs we have seen in the community for clear, unbiased information about caregiving - a complex subject that touches nearly everyone and impacts public policy at all levels."

New titles:

Characteristics of Care Recipients

A California study found care recipients were more likely to be female (55%) than male (45%), with 83% residing at home with their spouse or other relatives.

Ranging in age from 18 to 104 years, they averaged 75.1 years of age. Almost one quarter (23%) were 85 years of age and older.

Approximately one-third (30%) of the care recipients were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, followed by other de-generative brain disease/dementia (24%), stroke (21%), Parkinson’s disease (10%), traumatic brain injury (4%), Huntington’s disease (3%), and multiple sclerosis, ALS or brain tumor (2% each).

In addition to heavy care needs due to memory and behavior problems, over half (52%) of care recipients had difficulty in carrying out three or more activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating.

Nearly nine out of ten (89%) reported difficulty with one or more instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., preparing meals, using the telephone, managing money, taking medications).


   ●  Selected Caregiver Statistics: updated synopsis of a wide range of statistical and demographic studies of unpaid/family caregiving in the U.S. Topics include an examination of the numbers of caregivers, age, relationships between caregiver and care recipient, gender, race, duration of care, impact on employment, economic value, stress on the family, access to support, and more.

   ●  Caregiving with Your Siblings: a description of the often complicated changes in family roles as the dynamics shift during care for ill or elderly parents. The fact sheet identifies strategies to reduce stress and conflict, responses to expectations, sharing the responsibilities and more. This fact sheet is also available in Spanish and Chinese.

   ●  Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this perplexing brain disorder. The Fact Sheet discusses how MCI differs from Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias, when it is a precursor to AD, how to cope with memory loss and other challenges, key sources of support, recommended readings and more.

   ●  Legal Issues for LGBT Caregivers: This updated fact sheet includes specific information for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as they deal with aging, caregiving and incapacity. Topics include: creating an estate plan, Durable Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directives, qualifications for Medicare or Medi-Cal, and the use of other legal tools such as a Living Will.

   ●  Special Concerns of LGBT Caregivers: This new fact sheet further discusses the unique considerations of caregivers in the LGBT community. Topics include: care for domestic partners, friends or spouses; redefinitions of family; information on finding supportive health and service providers; discrimination; and maintaining well-being.


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Family Caregiver Alliance and the National Center on Caregiving offer local and national programs to support and sustain the important work of families and friends caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions. A wealth of caregiving advice, resource listings, newsletters, fact sheets, research reports, policy updates, discussion groups, and the Family Care Navigator are available free on our website.

All fact sheets are available free on the FCA website at, or call (800) 445-8106 for more information.

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