Report on Family Caregiving in Nassau & Suffolk Counties Provides Snapshot of How People Are Dealing with Mounting Responsibilities.

More than 40% of Long Island voters age 40 and older say they are either currently caring for an aging loved one (11%) or have previously done so (31%), while nearly eight in ten (77%) say they are or were stressed emotionally due to those responsibilities, an increasingly common scenario for family caregivers statewide as New York’s population rapidly ages, according to a new AARP New York survey released today.

Most of the family caregivers who responded to the survey for the report – titled “Long Island Caregivers 40 and Older: Their Challenges, Struggles and Needs” — say they care for a relative, most likely a parent in their 80s. The fall 2023 telephone survey on caregiving and long-term care queried residents of Suffolk and Nassau counties age 40-plus who are caring for an aging loved or have done so, and who are registered to vote in New York.

The survey was released at a news conference held at the Family Service League at the Iovino South Shore Center in Bay Shore, where AARP New York was joined by State Senator Monica R. Martinez, whose district includes part of Suffolk County, and representatives from local social services agencies and non-profit organizations.

“Too many of these hardworking Long Islanders, most of them women, don’t have access to the respite care, transportation or other help their family members need because funding from the state is lacking for those services or they’re stuck on a waiting list,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “On Long Island and across New York State, caregivers are raising their own children and trying to make a living while providing essential help to a mother or father, or both. They should not have to bear this burden alone.”

“There is no stress like the stress of being a family member’s caregiver, yet there is also no love like the love required to fulfill that responsibility,” Senator Martinez said. “Today’s survey is a reminder of the challenges that confront Long Islanders who have stepped into the role of caring for a relative that may have a chronic illness or condition, an injury, or become frail. Those who take on this commitment do so without much support from the state despite their dedication. As someone helping loved ones, I know the strain that comes from this act of compassion and understand more must be done to support these individuals.”

The Long Island survey was gleaned from a larger statewide AARP caregiving survey of 1,345 New York registered voters ages 40 and older. On Long Island, as well as elsewhere across the state, women primarily bear the burden of caring for an aging loved one. In Nassau and Suffolk counties, 62% of women voters 40-plus say they care for a loved one, compared to 38% of men.

Most Long Island caregivers (61%) say they do not believe New York State government offers enough support for unpaid family caregivers. When given the choice between financial support that would help cover caregiving costs or support that gives more time, 64% of caregivers chose financial support compared to 24% who chose time to do other things.

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • 76% of current and former caregivers say they worked while they provided care

  • 80% believe it is extremely or very important to have home- and community-based services available locally

  • 96% say it is extremely or very important to provide care so that their loved ones can remain in their own homes

  • Nearly all caregivers (97%) say they have incurred personal expenses while caregiving for a loved one, including transportation, home modification and medical equipment

Among the recommendations, AARP New York is advocating:

Eliminate Waiting Lists – Providing $51 million will eliminate the waiting list too many older New Yorkers find themselves languishing on as they and their family caregivers await basic services such as transportation, housekeeping, and personal care.

Increased Transparency — Require the State Office for the Aging to develop and post detailed reporting of where the waiting list exists by county and service requested, and provide this information to the Governor and Legislature annually as well as an accounting of the prior year’s expenditure, by county and service, on addressing the waiting list.

Direct Financial Assistance – Create a program to provide direct financial support to unpaid family caregivers who on average spend over $8,000 a year to care for their loved one.

To read the full report and learn more visit:

Connect with AARP New York on X: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visitñol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.


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