Smart Patients Get Smart Care™

The World’s Leading Authority for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients

Did You Know Q4 2021

This content was current as of the date it was released. In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge.

By Brian Koffman, MDCM (retired) MSEd

Caregiver Statistics

Dr. Allison J. Applebaum, Associate Attending Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), and Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College provided us with important statistics about caregivers that we are sharing with you below.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 8% of the global population is dependent on others for care:

  • 1/3 of US households in 2019 had a caregiver, which increased to 2/3 during the COVID-19 pandemic​.
  • 53 million Americans are caregivers, of whom approximately 6 million provide care to patients with cancer​.
  • Caregivers are predominantly female and provide care to a parent, and over 1/3 provide care to two or more people.

What do the 53 million US caregivers do?

  • Assist with activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)​
  • Emotional support​
  • Nursing support​
    • 72% of cancer caregivers and 56% of non-cancer caregivers perform medical/nursing tasks. ​
  • On average, caregivers provide care for 8.3 hours/day for 13.7 months, and 22% provide care for 41+ hours/week.​
  • Annual economic value of caregiving in the US was recently estimated at $375 billion​.
  • Caregivers are critical to our healthcare system.

CLL Society gives a heartfelt thank you to all the caregivers in our community. If you missed our November 1, 2021 webinar Giving Care to the Caregiver featuring Dr. Allison Applebaum, please watch it here.


Dr. Brian Koffman, a well-known retired doctor, educator, and clinical professor turned patient has dedicated himself to teaching and helping the CLL community since his diagnosis in 2005. He serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of the CLL Society Inc.

Originally published in The CLL Society Tribune Q4 2021: Caregiver Edition.