A new study by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund reports on just how much care, and what type of care employed family members (unpaid caregivers) provide. The findings are alarming. They show that despite their workplace obligations, nearly half of all employed family caregivers perform many of the tasks we normally associated with licensed health care professionals, including a range of medical/nursing tasks, such as medication management, wound care, using meters and monitors, and more.
An earlier report by the same authors found that nearly half of family caregivers (working and non-working, combined) nationally performed such medical and nursing tasks. This new report shows that family caregivers who also work, perform medical/nursing tasks at about the same rate non-working family caregivers do.
These findings surprised the researchers, who expected more of a difference between the extent to which employed and not-employed caregivers perform medical/nursing tasks.
The report also examines the characteristics and stress levels of working versus unemployed family caregivers. No surprise here: employed caregivers have more stress.
Much of the stress family caregivers face would be alleviated with the presence of long-term care insurance.