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Publication Date


Publisher location

Orono, Maine

Place of conference

Blaine House Conference on Aging

Abstract/ Summary

With advances in medicine and nutrition resulting in longevity comes increased risk of debilitating diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. Although trained professionals can provide care to these individuals, simple aspects of care may be provided by family members or friends. There are now over 52.4 million informal caregivers in the United States. Although informal caregiving comes with personal rewards, it also has emotional, physical, and financial challenges. This role is underappreciated, yet is crucial to society. Sixty-five percent of older individuals with long-term care needs rely exclusively on family and friends for assistance. The economic value of informal caregivers reaches approximately 257 billion dollars every year. Options for informal caregiving include help from friends and family, adult social day groups, state agency support, assistance with meal preparation, MaineCare, and in-home help. Barriers include a lack of public awareness of the prevalence and importance of the role of informal caregivers. Thus, caregivers should make sure to pay attention to their own health, communicate, and educate policy members.


pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)

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Sociology Commons



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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.