Caregiving is the act of providing unpaid assistance and support to family members or friends who have physical, psychological, or developmental needs. Caregiving can range from hands-on care with bathing and grooming, daily visits to check on the person’s well-being, to shopping for groceries or supplies.
There are over 1.06 million caregivers in New Jersey alone and more than a quarter of the adult population has provided care for a chronically ill, disabled, or older family member at some time. Caregivers are twice as likely as non-caregivers to report physical and mental health complications and experience 63% more mortality risks than non-caregivers. In addition, family caregiving accounts for 80% of the long term care provided in the US. (www.njcaregivers.org)
The Division on Aging offers two State-funded caregiver-specific programs to provide relief and assistance to unpaid caregivers: Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC) and the Statewide Respite Care Program.