Family and Non-Family Caregiving, and Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The aging of the US population will lead to greater demand for assistance with activities of daily living. Much of this support is provided by family members, but changing family sizes and locations have raised concern that those needing support will be increasingly reliant on non-family assistance, including paid caregivers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the dynamics of family support for people living with disabilities were disrupted due to shelter-in-place orders. In addition, some people may have moved from nursing homes to family members’ homes, and others may have delayed transitioning to a nursing home during the pandemic. Little is known about how caregiving changed during the pandemic and how any changes might be associated with the geographic distribution of the network of people who support those living with disabilities. The project builds on an ongoing HWRC-supported study of the association between the geographic location of family members and their likelihood of providing support to people living with disabilities. The current study considers both geographic proximity and local economic conditions, as there may be differences in regions where prevailing wages are higher or where shelter-in-place orders led to greater job losses.


Key Questions

  • What are the patterns of provision of family help to those 65 years and older who need assistance with activities of daily living during the COVID-19 pandemic?


For more information, contact Joanne Spetz.