A 2008 study by Evercare and the National Alliance for Caregiving found that approximately 44 million Americans over the age of 18 were providing care for someone over the age of 18. As the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, Hispanics are greatly impacted by this increasing need for care among family and loved ones. In fact, Hispanics spend 17% more time on caregiving (37 hours a week) than non-Hispanics do (31 hours per week).
Caregiving is increasingly common practice in the Hispanic community:
- One-third (36%) of Hispanic households have at least one family caregiver.
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Hispanic caregivers are female.
- 82% of Hispanic caregivers say that at least one other unpaid relative or friend helps provide care to their care recipient(s).
- 84% of Hispanic caregivers believe their role is an expectation of their upbringing. 70% think that it would bring shame on their family not to accept their caregiving role versus 60% of non-Hispanics.
Caregiving has a significant impact on employment:
- 41% of Hispanic caregivers have made major changes to their work situations as a result of caregiving, compared to 29% of non-Hispanic caregivers. Changes include cutting back on working hours, changing jobs, stopping work entirely, or taking a leave of absence.
- Although Hispanic caregivers and non-Hispanic caregivers are equally likely to be employed, Hispanic caregivers are less likely to be employed full-time (31% versus 47%), and more apt to be employed part-time (20% versus 10%).
- One-quarter (25%) of Hispanic caregivers say they are homemakers, whereas only 11% of non-Hispanic caregivers do. Hispanic caregivers are also far less likely to say they are retired (7% compared to 17%).
- Hispanic caregivers are in lower-income households relative to non-Hispanic caregivers. Just more than half (52%) are in households with less than $30,000 in income, compared to 19% of non-Hispanic caregivers.
While all caregivers need to be aware of the financial consequences of caregiving, Hispanic women already at greater risk for long-term financial security:
- Hispanic women earn only 52 cents for every dollar that men earn, and as low-income workers, they are less likely to have access to employee benefits.
- Hispanic and other minority women are less likely to work in jobs covered by pensions. Only 14.3% of Hispanic women received pension income in 2008, compared to 31.8% of older white women.
- In 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for single Hispanic women over age 65 was 42.4%, compared to 34.3% for single African-America women, and 17.1% for white women.
- Social Security was the only source of retirement income for 28% of Hispanic women over age 65 in 2008.
- The average retired worker benefit received by Hispanic women is only $795 monthly, or $9,536 annually—that is nearly $1,000 the poverty threshold.
Hispanic caregivers experience the satisfaction and burden of caregiving:
- Hispanic caregivers spend 17% more time than non-Hispanics performing more strenuous care activities, including bathing, feeding, and other personal care tasks. Despite this heavier burden, 35% indicated that caregiving is not at all stressful, compared to 22% of non-Hispanic caregivers.
- Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) Hispanic caregivers feel caregiving brings a sense of fulfillment, compared with 76% of non-Hispanics.
- More than half (54%), however, acknowledge they would be happy if some other family member or friend took over most of their caregiving duties.
- More than half of Hispanic caregivers (53%) are caring for both an older loved one and a child under the age of 18 at the same time, compared with 34% of non-Hispanic caregivers.