By Donna Benton
Director, USC Family Caregiver Support Center
Research Associate Professor of Gerontology
With approximately 43.5 million Americans providing unpaid care for other people—from providing part-time support and transportation to helping someone with their daily basic needs—chances are that everyone knows a caregiver if they aren’t one themselves.
Caregivers make a huge difference in others’ lives, and caregivers in the U.S. provide more than $470 billion in unpaid care each year. But providing care for an elderly or disabled loved one can be an enormous amount of work and can take an immense toll on a caregiver. People caring for others have a higher risk of stress, depression, and physical injury, financial strain, and more.