27 November 2012

UnitedHealth Group Reports Most Americans Acting as Caregivers

by Aric Mitchell, Posted in News

UnitedHealth Group Reports Most Americans Acting as Caregivers

Americans are a giving lot, according to a new survey. 

Specifically, the survey, reported in a news release from UnitedHealth Group, found that many Americans—75%—earn less than $25,000 yet still find a way to care for loved ones on Medicare with complex health care needs.

The survey, conducted by Care Improvement Plus and the National Family Caregivers Association, also found that “financial worries, diabetes care and care coordination are among the greatest challenges facing ‘higher-burden’ caregivers – those responsible for a wider range of activities associated with their loved ones care over a prolonged period of time,” according to the release.

Other key findings:

70% of survey participants are sole or primary caregivers for loved ones

Close to 75% provide transportation, nutritional/physical support, coordination of care and other instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs)

66% of survey participants have served in a caregiving capacity to loved ones for five or more years

Rhonda Randall, D.O., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, called the survey an affirmation that “people who are caring for chronically ill and underserved Medicare beneficiaries are taking on many aspects of their loved one’s care and often face significant challenges.”

“With baby boomers aging into Medicare, the number of beneficiaries with chronic conditions is increasing rapidly – and with it a growing demand for solutions that meet the needs of their family caregivers,” Randall added.