source: Prevent Blindness
Formal caregivers are volunteers or paid care providers associated with a service system. Informal caregivers are family, friends, neighbors or church members who provide unpaid care out of love, respect, obligation or friendship to a disabled person. These people far outnumber formal caregivers, and without them, this country would have a difficult time formally funding the caregiving needs of a growing number of disabled recipients.
Up to 20% of the total population is providing part-time or full-time care. The typical informal caregiver is a daughter, age 46, with a full-time job, providing an average of 18 hours per week to one or more of her parents.
Among adults aged 20 to 75, providing informal care to a family or friend of any age, 38% care for aging parents, and 11% care for their spouse. About two-thirds of those caregivers for people over age 50 are employed full-time or part-time. Two-thirds of those, about 45% of working caregivers, report having to rearrange their work schedule, decrease their hours, or take an unpaid leave in order to meet their caregiving responsibilities.