Families and unpaid caregivers provide the majority of assistance to older Americans living with limitations in the U.S. Older adults living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD), in particular, experience progressive care needs and often rely on multiple family caregivers who share responsibilities. Although older adults with dementia comprise 1/10 of the population of older adults, they receive 1/3 of the family care hours provided annually. Moreover, families have become more complex in recent years – with more step ties, cohabiting relationships, and voluntary ("chosen") kin (vs. biological/legal ties). There are concerns that social responsibility around providing care to older family members may have weakened as a result of changing families alongside an aging population. This talk will examine trends in families of older adults as well as the care received using nationally representative data. In addition, preliminary findings from focus groups with family caregivers will be presented to examine the lived experience of those providing care.
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