WASHINGTON (December 11, 2017)—Nearly seven out of 10 family caregivers say it is emotionally stressful to care for their loved one during the holidays, according to AARP's new Holiday Caregiving survey. To help manage the seasonal stress, caregivers say they will make an average of three to four changes to their holiday traditions with the majority choosing to change their holiday meal plans and nearly half cutting back on spending.
“This survey underscores the need to support family caregivers during the holiday season,” said Amy Goyer, AARP Family and Caregiving Expert and author of AARP's “Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving.” “Offering to help with their holiday to-do list, such as picking up a meal or hanging some decorations, can make a big difference. But simply sharing a moment to listen during this busy season can go a long way too.”
Additional survey findings include:
- Despite the stress the holidays brings, many (32 percent) feel more positive about the holidays overall since becoming a caregiver.
- The most common reasons caregivers feel more positive are that they enjoy helping and that their loves ones are near.
- Eighty-five percent of caregivers plan to make at least one adjustment to their holiday routine, with about three to four changes on average. The majority chose to change their holiday meal plans.
- Nearly half (46 percent) say they will need to cut back on holiday spending this year due to their caregiving duties.
- Caregivers want help during the holidays. Almost eight in ten (79 percent) say it would be helpful to have someone to talk with who understands, 73 percent would like help with holiday tasks, and 72 percent would like help with holiday meals.
AARP supports the more than 40 million family caregivers nationwide who provide unpaid short-term or long-term care to a parent, spouse, friend or other adult loved one in need. For more information about caregiving resources, visit aarp.org/caregiving.
To read the full report, visit aarp.org/holidaycaregiving.