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The Long-Term Care Poll

Opinions and attitudes about long-term care in the United States.

Long-Term Care and Work: How Americans Balance Caregiving with Their Jobs

This video interactive from The AP-NORC Center uses findings from the Center’s poll of older Americans with long-term care experience to explore how caregivers juggle caregiving with work, and whether or not they feel supported by their employers.

Millions of aging Americans require support with daily living activities and much of that assistance comes from family and friends. These caregivers often are still in the workforce, which creates competing demands on their time between home and work. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of caregivers have had to balance work with providing long-term care and about half cite difficulty in doing so.

Using findings from The AP-NORC Center’s poll of older Americans with long-term care experience, this video interactive explores how caregivers navigate providing care while working, the difficulties they face in doing so, and how their employers either do or do not support them in their caregiving roles. Insights from an expert and a caregiver illuminate these challenges.

Data from the Center’s poll of older Americans with caregiving experience show that 7 in 10 working caregivers have had to take time off work to provide care, and many others shift around their work schedules in order to provide care. Some even say they quit their job or retired early. A third of those who missed work say the amount of time they took off from work was not enough to provide the needed care. A similar number were concerned that they took too much time off work. And while half say their employer has been supportive of their caregiving role, 2 in 10 say they have not felt supported, with some facing serious repercussions in the workplace.

As the U.S. population ages and the demand for long-term care continues to grow, meeting the needs of working caregivers is a pressing question with implications for the lives of caregivers, care recipients, employers, and the nation’s economy. Understanding how caregivers balance work and care is critical as businesses and governments attempt to balance the needs of caregivers and their employers.