Working While Caring: Rosalynn Carter Institute Sounds Alarm on Behalf of Employed Family Caregivers

New Data Confirms Caregiver Stress is Impacting U.S. Economy, Workforce

AMERICUS, GA –The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI), today released Working While Caring: A National Survey of Caregiver Stress in the U.S. Workforce. The survey revealed that one-in-five full-time workers is a caregiver, providing care on a regular basis for a family member or friend who is aging, has a serious illness, or has a disability. Many must go to part-time status or quit altogether due to caregiving responsibilities.

“A year ago, we warned that caregivers were facing their emergency room moment and were at their breaking point. Working While Caring tells us little has changed. Caregiving is stressful,” said Dr. Jennifer Olsen, Chief Executive Officer of RCI. “This newest round of data illustrates the degree to which caregiver demands are affecting our nation’s economic well-being.

Policymakers and employers must come together to work on ways to truly recognize and support our nation’s employed family caregivers.”

The two surveys, administered by Public Opinion Strategies in June 2021, were funded by RCI’s partners, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and Cambia Health Foundation. This is the first data to come from RCI’s new Employer Initiative, which was launched in May 2021.

“These results should be a clarion call for every employer in the United States who is trying to recover from the economic devastation brought on by the pandemic and get back to growing their bottom line,” said Amber Slichta, vice president of programs at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “With this data in hand, we look forward to working with RCI to deliver solutions for policymakers and employers to consider going forward.”

Additional findings included:

  • At some point in time over the course of caring for their loved one, 44 percent of family caregivers who are employed full-time said they had to go part-time because of caring for their loved one.
  • At some point in time over the course of caring for their loved one, roughly two in 10 family caregivers who are employed full-time said they had to quit their job because of caring for their loved one.
  • Family caregivers who are employed full-time want more assistance and employer understanding (including greater financial and emotional support and greater flexibility) to help with the challenges that they face as caregivers.
  • The benefits employed family caregivers report using most or say they would have used if available are benefits not being offered by most employers:
    • Flexible scheduling
    • Remote work or telework
    • Reducing hours from full-time to part-time
    • Job sharing/reduced workload
    • Specialized caregiver services

The research was conducted in partnership with Public Opinion Strategies from June 15 to June 26, 2021. Public Opinion Strategies conducted two national online surveys: 1) N=509 family caregivers ages 18-70 years old who were employed full-time while caring for their loved one (June 15-26, 2021), +/- 4.95%; 2) N=800 registered voters (June 17-24, 2021), +/- 3.95%. The executive summary of the surveys can be viewed here.

About the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers promotes the health, strength, and resilience of caregivers throughout the United States. Established in 1987 by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Institute’s priority is the family caregiver: those individuals who care for a relative, friend, or loved one. To learn more about RCI, visit

About Public Opinion Strategies

Public Opinion Strategies is the largest political and public affairs survey research firm, and among the 50 largest research firms in the country. Since the founding of Public Opinion Strategies in 1991, the firm has conducted over 10 million interviews, completed 25,000 research projects, and currently represents six governors, ten Senators, and 50 Members of Congress. Since 2004, along with its Democratic partner, the firm conducts The NBC News Poll and, since 2007, the CNBC All-America Economic Survey. To learn more about Public Opinion Strategies, visit

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