Family members caring for an elderly loved one rely on paid in-home care more than anything else to cope with the challenges of aging at every stage of “The Caregiver Journey,” according to findings from Caring’s latest survey.Senior lady and daughter

In our annual study of caregiving families, as loved ones move from living independently, to living with family members, to living in a senior housing community, Caring.com found that between one-quarter and one-half of survey respondents pay outsiders to provide care:

  • 50% of older people living independently in their homes employ paid caregivers
  • 33% of older people living with other family members pay for in-home care
  • 27% of families with a loved one in a senior housing community pay an outside agency to provide care in the senior community, over and above any care provided by the community itself
  • 26% of families contribute financially to assist their loved one in paying for home care

Pro Caregiver with Caree
We asked people to tell us about those they hire to provide care. Here’s what they told us:

  • 45% hire in-home care agencies to provide care
  • 30% independently hire professional caregivers outside of an agency
  • 25% pay a non-professional for caregiving tasks

With numbers like these, it’s no wonder Caring’s home care leads are growing so quickly. If your agency isn’t getting leads from us, you might want to consider it.

Despite all these hours of caregiving assistance, the people responding to our survey are not using their free time to plan ahead. Fully 71% of people who move, either into a family member’s home or into a senior community, wait until a medical condition makes it unsafe or impossible to live alone (see also: related McKnights Senior Living article). This is even higher than the 62% who waited that long last year. But then they choose senior living communities based on location more than care needs, and end up unhappy, as our friends at Senior Housing News emphasized in their coverage of the survey.

And 1/3 of them take less than one month from the start of their care search until they move to an assisted or independent living, which may also be contributing to dissatisfaction. With such a tight timeframe, you want to make sure that your community is easy to find online, that your pricing is available and you have lots of positive consumer reviews to assure families that people just like them are happy living there. If you’re not already on page 1 of Google search results, and you don’t have 15 or more consumer reviews, you might want to think about contacting Caring.com so we can help.

Our Caregiver Journey survey has lots of detailed information on caregiving and finances, on caregiving and employment, on when and how people change their living situation, on which review sites people trust (and which they don’t – are you reading this, Yelp?), and much more. Watch our webinar recording on the topic, or download the slides to review the data at your convenience.

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