A new survey conducted by BraunAbility found that caregivers habitually undervalue their contributions to the people they support.
BraunAbility announced the results of the survey to coincide with November, which is National Caregivers Month.
Survey participants own BraunAbility wheelchair-accessible vehicles. They identified themselves as mobility assistive device users; as people who live with and care for someone who uses a wheelchair or other mobility device; or as people who care for someone who uses a wheelchair or other mobility device, but live outside that person’s household.
Most survey participants said they were between 45 and 74 years old, though the survey drew participation from people as young as 18 and older than 75. About 60 percent of the participants said they are male, and 39 percent said they are female.
According to the survey results, 20 percent of wheelchair users “reported they have not gone somewhere because they didn’t want to be a burden to someone else by asking for assistance.”
Eleven percent “said they didn’t go somewhere because they needed assistance and no one was available to help.” And 56 percent of wheelchair users “said they rely on an unpaid caregiver — a friend or family member — for assistance with day-to-day needs.”
Providing all that support takes a toll on caregivers, with respondents saying they find caregiving can be “exhausting, frustrating, stressful or overwhelming.”
Survey respondents on the receiving end of the support indicated they appreciated the help: 56 percent of wheelchair users “said they rely on an unpaid caregiver — a friend or family member — for assistance for day-to-day needs,” the survey results said.
The news announcement added, “Nearly all wheelchair users expressed immense gratitude, stating they would not be able to live without their caregiver. One participant said, ‘Caregivers help people live life instead of just existing.’”