Two studies have recently been released that illustrate more fully the impact of caregiving for the elderly and disabled by family members or friends.

The US study, conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP and funded by The MetLife Foundation, is a comprehensive examination of caregiving in the USA.   Some findings include: Caregivers say they have increased their use of supportive services, such as respite care; there is an increase in proportion of caregivers who say they need help or information;  there are indications that caregiving is becoming more emotionally stressful for some and that some are experiencing more financial hardship.

Many of these findings are mirrored in a new UK study showing that one in six carers give up or cut back on work to provide care and face a significant drop in income.  And most of the carers haven’t begun to plan for their future long term care needs.   The UK government provides Carer’s Allowance to help supplement their income but according to Carers UK over a third missed out on benefits because they didn’t realize they could claim.