Who are We? Family Caregiving Community of Practice

The Who are We? blog post series will showcase each of the five Communities of Practice within the Child and Family Learning Network.

Family Caregiving is and will continue to be a major social and economic challenge in the United States. With an estimated 65 million caregivers in the U.S., there is a demand for programs that support the caregiving process. As the population continues to age, caregiving numbers are expected to double in the next 25 years.

A person of any age and background may need care at some point in their lives, including older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans. As there is a shortage of caregivers in the United States, more individuals may find that they are providing unpaid care for a spouse, partner, parent, and family member or loved one. These unpaid caregivers may learn new skills and adjust their personal, family, and work lives to care for their family member. In addition, these unpaid caregiver services are valued at more than $375 billion annually, representing more than what is spent per year for the federal Medicaid budget.

Just as people are unique, so are caregiving situations. Each caregiver experiences different needs, feelings, challenges and rewards throughout their caregiving journey. Research has shown that there are differences in how the caregiving journey is experienced.

Whether you are a current caregiver or anticipate becoming a caregiver in the future, the Child and Family Learning Network has information to help you. The site provides valuable information to assist you with a variety of needs, including health, family relationships, housing and finances. For specific caregiving needs, visit the Family Caregiving website at http://www.extension.org/family_caregiving