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New Pew Report: Family Caregivers are Wired for Health

Nearly four in ten U.S. adults (39%) are caring for an adult or child with significant health issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. That is up from 30% of U.S. adults in 2010. Caring for a loved one is an activity that cuts across most demographic groups, but is especially prevalent among adults ages 30 to 64, a group traditionally still in the workforce.

Caregivers are heavy technology users and are much more likely than other adults to take part in a wide range of health-related activities.

Caregivers are more likely than other adults to:

  • Gather health information online, particularly about medical problems, treatments, and drugs.
  • Gather health information offline, from clinicians, friends, family, and others who share the same health condition.
  • Go online specifically to try to figure out what condition they or someone else might have.
  • Consult online reviews about drugs and other treatments.
  • Track their own weight, diet, exercise routine, or other health indicator.
  • Read online about someone else’s personal health experience (which, in the case of caregivers, could be related to their own or their loved one’s condition).
  • Go online to find others with similar health concerns (again, there may be dual motivations to connect — to find more information about handling caregiver stress, for example, or about their loved one’s health challenges).

Full report:

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