2017 DFTA Survey of Unpaid Caregivers in New York City “. . . is the first of its kind to examine the extent to which unpaid caregivers’ needs are met in NYC and to identify areas for further improvement . . . It was created to provide actionable and policy-relevant data on the extent to which unpaid caregivers in New York City obtain the services they need and the barriers they may face in obtaining those services.” Two of the groups the study surveyed were adults caring for family member(s) aged 60 or over, including adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, and grandparents or other older relatives who are the primary caregivers of children under 18. The study’s findings underscore the critical role PSS Circle of Care’s programs and services play in helping these special populations meet the daily challenges they face. Our unique Caregiving Stations offer free, convenient hands-on assistance to unpaid family caregivers, We were recently awarded a major grant from the New York State Department of Health to provide services to those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Our Kinship Services and WSF/PSS Grandparent Family Apartments have long-provided services to kinship families.
According to the survey, top caregiver needs include:
- Information about available services is in the top three most needed services for all caregiver types.” Our Circle of Care Stations provide up-to-date information on services available throughout the five boroughs of New York City, as well as providing direct counseling and educational services, while our bi-lingual hotline is available to all needing immediate assistance.
- Of those who care for an older adult, “about half cannot make ends meet or barely manage to get by.” We expect this number would be even higher for caregivers we serve in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan where income levels are lower than in other boroughs.
- “Some caregivers, including parents and grandparents, do not recognize themselves as caregivers and thus never avail themselves of benefits and services they need. In certain cases, cultural differences may influence attitudes toward caregiving. Some families, for example, might consider looking after an elderly parent or relative a familial obligation, tradition, or even expectation.” For these reasons, Circle of Care emphasizes outreach through community events, businesses and other social service agencies. We have created Circulo de Cuidado to address the specific needs of NYC’s large Latino population. Indeed, the study found that Hispanic individuals accounted for 21 percent of DFTA caregivers, and about one-fourth of kinship caregivers.
Click here for the full study with all its vital statistics, analysis and policy recommendations.