Source: 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Special Report - More Than Normal Aging: Understanding Mild Cognitive Impairment
Unpaid Caregivers: Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. Nearly half of all caregivers (48%) who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. More than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's or other dementias.
People with dementia tend to have larger networks of family and friends involved in their care compared with people without dementia. Family members and friends in dementia care networks tend to provide help for a larger number of tasks than do those in non-dementia care networks. Individuals with dementia living in the community are more likely than older adults without dementia to rely on multiple unpaid caregivers (often family members); 30% of older adults with dementia rely on three or more unpaid caregivers, whereas 23% of older adults without dementia do so. Only a small percentage of older adults with dementia do not receive help from family members or other informal care providers (8%). Of these individuals, nearly half live alone, perhaps making it more difficult to ask for and receive informal care. Among caregivers of spouses with dementia who are at the end of life, close to half provide care without the help of other family or friends.392 Living alone with dementia may be a particular challenge for certain subgroups, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, who may experience greater isolation for reasons ranging from social stigma to a diminished social network of available family or friend caregivers.
An analysis of national caregiving trends from 1999 to 2015 found that the average hours of care per week increased from 45 in 1999 to 48 in 2015 for dementia caregivers; over the same time period, weekly hours of care decreased for non-dementia caregivers from 34 to 24.440 The amount of time required for caregiving increases as dementia progresses; one study showed that people with dementia required 151 hours of caregiving per month at the outset of dementia and increased to 283 hours per month eight years later.