Study: Family caregivers in R.I. sixth-least burned out in United States

FAMILY CAREGIVERS in Rhode Island are faring better than those in most other states, according to a study by the website Seniorly.com. / AP FILE PHOTO/RICHARD VOGEL

PROVIDENCE – A new study by the website Seniorly.com says family caregivers in Rhode Island are the No. 6 least burned out in the nation.

A record 53 million Americans provide an estimated $600 billion annually in unpaid family caregiving, and it is taking an enormous toll on their financial, physical and mental health.

The burden falls on America’s “sandwich generation” with 54% of parents in their 40s caring for aging parents and financially supporting adult children. With long-term care facilities facing a historic staffing shortage, the demand placed on family caregivers is likely to increase in some areas more than others.

Seniorly released a study on the States Most Impacted by Caregiver Burnout using the most recent data from the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer’s Association and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

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Multiple factors were analyzed such as multigenerational households, Alzheimer’s disease, long-term care workers, age dependency ratio and health issues reported by caregivers.

A few metrics that led to Rhode Island’s ranking: 40.2% of caregivers report having two chronic health conditions and 14.6% are mentally distressed. Alzheimer’s is expected to increase by 12.5% by 2025, and 3.9% of homes are multigenerational.

The top 10 states for caregiver burnout are Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, Delaware, Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Hawaii and Louisiana. Notably, six of the top 10 are southern states.

Connecticut and the District of Columbia ranked lowest in terms of burnout, and Massachusetts came in at No. 38.

Additional national findings in the report:

  • Out-of-pocket costs: $7,424 is spent annually, more than 10% of household income.
  • Health issues: 23% of caregivers say their own health has declined, 85% report mental distress, and during the pandemic 50% had serious suicidal ideation.
  • Women are disproportionally impacted: 61% of caregivers are women, 75% of women aged 45-54 work, and a mother’s lifetime earnings will decrease 15% due to caregiving.

The report can be found at www.seniorly.com/resource-center/seniorly-news/state-of-caregiver-burnout-in-america

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