2014 AARP Caregiving Survey: Opinions and Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older

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1 2014 AARP Caregiving Survey: Opinions and Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Connecticut residents want to live independently at home for as long as possible with the help of family caregivers, and they strongly support proposals that will enable family caregivers to help their loved ones remain in their own homes as they age. Two-thirds (66%) of Connecticut residents age 40 and older say they want to receive care for themselves or their loved ones at home with caregiver assistance when the basic tasks of life become more difficult due to aging or illness. The vast majority of Connecticut residents age 40 and older say it is to have services that help seniors live independently (90%) and to have more resources and training for family caregivers (93%). Two out of three (61%) Connecticut residents age 40 and older are currently providing or have provided unpaid care to an adult loved one who is ill, frail, elderly or has a physical or mental disability. Seven in ten (70%) Connecticut residents age 40 and older say it is likely that they will provide unpaid care to an adult loved one in the future. The majority of Connecticut residents age 40 and older support proposals to help working family caregivers: o Eighty-four percent of respondents support a proposal to ensure employers cannot fire an employee for taking time off for family caregiving purposes. o More than four out of five support requiring employers to provide a limited amount of unpaid leave (83%) to employees for caregiving purposes, and support is nearly as strong for requiring employers to provide some paid leave (71%) for caregivers. The vast majority of Connecticut residents age 40 and older strongly support proposals that would help family caregivers when their loved ones go into hospitals or rehabilitation facilities: o Nearly all support requiring hospitals or rehabs to explain and demonstrate medical tasks family caregivers will need to perform after the patient returns home (94%) and to keep family caregivers informed of medical decisions regarding the patient (90%). o More than three-quarters (77%) support requiring hospitals to record the caregiver s information in the patient s medical record upon admission. The majority of respondents think Connecticut elected officials should make it a top or high priority to strengthen laws and regulations that support family caregivers (61%), as well as fund services that support them (56%). AARP Connecticut commissioned a telephone survey of 1,000 Connecticut residents age 40 and older to learn about their experiences with family caregiving, as well as their opinions on proposals to support family caregivers in the state. This report highlights results from residents interviewed between March 26 and April 6, The data in this report has been weighted by age and gender to reflect the Connecticut population age 40 and older. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.2 percent AARP Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 1

2 Importance of Family Caregiving More than half of Connecticut residents age 40 and older have been a family caregiver, and even more expect to be in the next five years. Over half of Connecticut residents age 40 and older say they have provided care either currently (17%) or in the past (37%) on an unpaid basis for an adult loved one who is ill, frail, elderly or who has a disability. While only one in six residents surveyed are currently providing care, about 70 percent think it is at least somewhat likely they will be a caregiver for a relative or friend in the future. Percent of Connecticut Residents Age 40+ That Have Been or Expect to Be Caregivers 70% 17% 37% Current caregiver Past caregiver Likely future caregiver Most Connecticut residents age 40 and older (66%) believe that being cared for at home with caregiver assistance is the ideal situation when the basic tasks of life become more difficult due to aging or illness. Despite any burden they might have faced caring for a loved one, caregivers are still more likely than noncaregivers to say the ideal situation for a person who needs assistance is to be cared for at home over more institutional settings (69% vs. 63%). Where Connecticut Residents Age 40+ Want to Receive Long-Term Care (N=1000) Assisted living facility 21% At home with caregiver assistance 66% Nursing home 5% Not sure 8% 2014 AARP Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 2

3 With the overwhelming preference for care at home, it is not surprising that most respondents think it is extremely or very that services are available in their community to help seniors as well as family caregivers. For instance, the majority of respondents believe it is to have more resources and training for family caregivers so these individuals can continue to help older residents with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Importance of Having Services That Help Seniors Live Independently Importance of Having More Resources and Training for Caregivers Extremely/ very 68% Somewhat 22% Extremely/ very 69% Somewhat 24% Not 9% Not 6% Given their experience, it is not surprising that caregivers rate the importance of having services that help seniors live independently, such as home health and transportation, more highly than those who have not been caregivers (75% vs. 60%). Similarly, family caregivers are more likely than non-caregivers (73% vs. 65%) to say it is extremely or very to have more resources and training for available for caregivers so they can continue to help their loved ones remain at home. Support for Family Caregivers at Home The typical caregiver in Connecticut is a married female in her 50 s. About one-half (51%) report having household incomes below $80,000 a year and a similar proportion (48%) say they have children living at home with them. Half of the current and past family caregivers surveyed report that caregiving for a loved one put a good deal (36%) or overwhelming (14%) strain on their family s quality of life, including financial hardship, emotional stress and stress at work. Many say they have had to use their own financial resources to help provide care for their loved ones, make changes to their home to accommodate the person they were caring for, or even move to another home to accommodate their loved one. Actions Connecticut Caregivers Have to Care for an Adult Loved One* (n=544, Current or Past Caregivers) Used their own financial resources to help provide care 44% Made changes to their homes to accommodate their loved ones 38% Moved into another home to accommodate their loved ones 14% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% *Graph shows respondents who checked yes under each type of action AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 3

4 Recognizing the strain that caregivers sometimes face, nearly nine out of ten Connecticut residents age 40 and older say they support having affordable options for paid help from a home health aide so caregivers can take a break from the caregiving duties. Further, four out of five Connecticut residents age 40 and older think it should be a priority for Connecticut elected officials to fund services that support family caregivers. Support for Having Affordable Respite Care Options for Caregivers Level of Priority Elected Officials Should Give to Funding Services for Caregivers Support 86% Neither support/ oppose 4% Top/High priority 56% Medium 28% Oppose 6% Low/Not a priority 14% While even non-caregivers see the importance of having affordable respite care available, caregivers are somewhat more likely to see the importance of supporting family members like themselves, with 89 percent saying they support having affordable respite care options available, and 61 percent rating it a top or high priority for elected officials to fund services for caregivers. Support for Working Family Caregivers More than half of caregivers have modified their work schedules to provide care for an adult loved one. Current caregivers are nearly as likely to be working full-time (43%) as their non-caregiving counterparts (46%). While most caregivers work for employers who provide paid vacation and sick leave, they are less likely to have access to paid family medical leave. Percent of Employees Who Say Their Employers Do Not Offer Leave Options by Caregiver Status (n=479, Employed Respondents) Paid family medical leave 29% 39% Unpaid sick leave 24% 27% Unpaid family medical leave Paid sick leave 21% 25% 17% 22% Non-caregiver Caregiver Paid vacation 15% 21% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 2014 AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 4

5 The majority of caregivers (70%) admit the potential loss of income has an impact on their decision to take family medical leave. Still, about 15 percent of all caregivers surveyed say they have taken more than a week off of work to take care of an adult family member in the past year. Further, one-fifth of all Connecticut caregivers have taken a leave of absence from their job and more than one out of eight have either gone from working full-time to part-time or given up working entirely. Actions Connecticut Caregivers Have Taken to Care for an Adult Loved One* (n=544, Current or Past Caregivers) Went to work early or late, or took time off to provide care 56% Took a leave of absense from their job to provide care 20% Went from working full-time to part-time 12% Gave up working entirely 12% *Graph shows respondents who checked yes under each type of action. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% The vast majority of Connecticut residents age 40+ support protecting caregivers jobs and providing caregiving leave to employees. This survey shows substantial support among Connecticut residents age 40 and older for each of the proposals in the survey that would provide help to working caregivers, such as ensuring that employers cannot fire an employee for taking time off for family caregiving purposes and requiring employers to provide a limited amount of leave to employees who have to take time off for family caregiving purposes, either unpaid or paid. Support for Proposals to Provide Workplace Support for Caregivers 84% 83% 71% Prohibit firing due to caregiving Provide unpaid leave for caregiving Provide paid sick leave for caregiving 2014 AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 5

6 Although those with liberal political views are more likely to support each of these proposals, a majority of respondents, regardless of political ideology, say they would support them. Percent Supporting Proposals to Support Working Caregivers by Political Ideology Liberal (n=183) Moderate (n=328) Conservative (n=208) Ensure employers cannot fire employees for taking time off for caregiving 90% 86% 79% Require employers to provide a limited amount of unpaid leave to employees who take time off for caregiving 89% 85% 76% Require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who take time off for caregiving 83% 73% 61% When asked how much of a priority it should be for Connecticut elected officials to strengthen laws and regulations that support family caregivers, nine out of ten residents age 40 and older say it should be a top or high priority for them. Level of Priority Respondents Say Elected Officials Should Give to Strengthening Laws and Regulations That Support Family Caregivers Top/High priority 61% Medium 29% Low/Not a priority 9% 2014 AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 6

7 Support for Medical Facilities Involving Family Caregivers The majority of Connecticut residents age 40+ strongly support proposals that would help family caregivers when their loved ones go into hospitals or rehabilitation facilities. This survey also found strong support for a number of proposals to help family caregivers navigate the health care system on behalf of their loved ones. Specifically, Connecticut residents age 40 and older show widespread support for measures in The Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act, which calls for recognition of the critical role family caregivers play in keeping their loved ones out of costly institutions. The bill features three provisions that would require hospitals to engage with caregivers by recording the name of the family caregiver when a loved one is admitted into a hospital; notifying the caregiver if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home; and providing instructions on the medical tasks the family caregiver may need to perform at home. Percent Supporting Proposals to Help Family Caregivers When Loved Ones Go into Medical Facilities (N=1000) Requiring hospitals/rehabs to demonstrate medical tasks to caregivers 94% Requiring hospitals to keep caregivers informed of major decisions 90% Requiring hospitals/health care facilities to record caregiver information upon admission 77% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% The majority Connecticut residents age 40 and older, regardless of political views or their experience as a caregiver, support instituting each of these measures included in the survey. Percent Supporting CARE Act Proposals by Political Ideology Liberal (n=183) Moderate (n=328) Conservative (n=208) Require hospitals and rehab facilities to explain and demonstrate any medical tasks caregivers may need to perform after the patient returns home. 92% 94% 95% Require hospitals to keep caregivers informed of major decisions, like transferring or discharging patient. Require hospitals and care facilities to record the name of a patient s caregiver in the medical record upon admission. 91% 90% 90% 83% 81% 71% 2014 AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 7

8 Conclusion Many Connecticut residents have already undertaken the responsibility of family caregiving, and even more recognize it is a likely role in their future. With such an overwhelming preference for living at home with caregiver assistance over assisted living or nursing home care, it is not surprising that there is widespread support for proposals to ensure that family caregivers have the resources they need to continue providing care to their loved ones for as long as possible. Family members often undertake caregiving willingly, and many find it a source of deep satisfaction and meaning. However, caregiving in today s economic climate and fragmented health system can have a significant impact on the family members who provide care as the results from this survey have shown. From using their own financial resources to modifying their work schedules to accommodate the needs of their loved ones, Connecticut caregivers show a determination to uphold their family value of enabling their older family members to remain at home and in the community for as long as possible. Whether through support for workplace protections or help in navigating the health care system on behalf of their loved ones, it is clear that residents age 40 and older in the state recognize the contribution family caregivers make as they send an imperative message through the survey to elected officials to make it a priority to strengthen laws and regulations, and fund essential services, that support family caregivers in Connecticut AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 8

9 Demographic Profile of Connecticut Respondents GENDER Male Female 47% 53% AGE % 21% % 30% WORK STATUS Employed FT 46% Employed PT 14% Retired 27% Unemployed 4% EDUCATION Bachelor's or more 48% Some college/assoc.'s High School or less 26% 25% MARITAL STATUS Married 62% Unmarried 38% INCOME Less than $20K 10% $20k <$60k $60k<$100k 24% 22% $100k or more 33% PARTY AFFILIATION Democrat 30% Republican 20% Independent 36% POLITICAL VIEW Conservative 29% Moderate 40% Liberal 22% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 2014 AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 9

10 Full Methodology The 2014 AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey was conducted through telephone interviews with a sample of 1000 respondents ages 40 and older drawn at random from Connecticut. The interviews were conducted in English by Precision Opinion, Inc. from March 26 th through April 6 th, The results from the study were weighted by age and gender. The margin of error for the complete set of 1000 interviews is ±3.2%. Respondents were screened to insure that they were residents of Connecticut and age 40 or older. The questionnaire was developed by AARP staff. In order to improve the quality of the data, the questionnaire was pretested with a small number of respondents. The pretest interviews were monitored by Precision Opinion, Inc. and AARP staff. The response rate for this study was 45 percent and was calculated using AAPOR s response rate 3 method. The cooperation rate was 90 percent as calculated using AAPOR s cooperation rate 3 method. 1 Throughout the report, statistics representing survey responses are reported in percentages which may not add up to 100 due to rounding and non-response. Also due to rounding, the percentages reported in the text may vary slightly from those in the annotation or in graphs. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanishlanguage website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at State Research brings the right knowledge at the right time to our state and national partners in support of their efforts to improve the lives of people age 50+. State Research consultants provide strategic insights and actionable research to attain measurable state and national outcomes. The views expressed herein are for information, debate, and discussion, and do not necessarily represent official policies of AARP. AARP staff from the Connecticut State Office, Campaigns, State Advocacy and Strategy Integration (SASI) and State Research contributed to the design, implementation and reporting of this study. Special thanks go to AARP staff including Nora Duncan, State Director, Claudio Gualtieri, Associate State Director of the AARP Connecticut State Office; Chryste Hall and Steve Griffin, Campaigns; Enzo Pastore, Government Affairs; Rachelle Cummins, Joanne Binette, Aisha Bonner, Darlene Matthews and Cheryl Barnes, State Research; and Doris Gilliam, Office of General Counsel. Please contact Kate Bridges at for more information regarding this survey. ARP Research For more information about this survey, please contact Kate Bridges at: or 1 Calculated using AAPOR s Outcome Rate Calculator Version 2.1, May AARP Connecticut Caregiving Survey: Opinions & Experiences of Connecticut Residents Age 40 and Older Page 10

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