Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Caregiver burden is a term used to describe the physical, mental, social, and financial impact of caring for someone who is ill or who has functional impairments. Although the term can be applied to all care-givers (paid and unpaid), in most circumstances the term is applied to unpaid caregivers (called informal caregivers) who are usually family members of the ill or impaired care receiver. A large national study of informal (unpaid) caregivers and care receivers in the United States (conducted in 1999) found that two fifths of caregivers fall between the ages of 45 and 64, one fifth are aged 65 to 74, and another one fifth are over the age of 75. Thus, a significant number of caregivers are older adults, themselves at risk for health problems due to advanced age. The same study found that two thirds of all caregivers are female, and most informal caregivers are immediate ...