AARP released a new analysis of various caregiving studies in recent years in an attempt to quantify the economic "value" of caregivers for older adults.
They conclude that the 30 to 38 million Americans providing care are contributing the equivalent of $350 billion a year to the economy. That's Wal-Mart's annual sales.
In their news release about their report, they say:
For those with the most intense level of caregiving responsibility, 92% report major changes in their working patterns; 83% arrive late, leave early or take time off during the day; 41% report taking a leave of absence; and 37% report going from full-time to part-time to adjust for their care giving responsibilities. Additionally, the caregiver's own health is often at risk. They are more likely to have chronic health conditions and medical debt than non-caregivers.
Of course, the "typical" caregiver is a 46-year-old woman who works outside the home.
This "lifestage" for Boomers is one that comes without instructions, is very intense, lasts years in many cases, and ultimately has an end date.
We write in the book that it is one lifestage that is almost impossible to leverage in marketing. Other than for products or services that make the caregiving lifestage more manageable.