People who care for their relatives at home have to spend more and more time and money of their own. The result: more than half of those providing care cannot work full-time, and many give up their jobs altogether. Women are particularly affected.

This is the result of a representative Forsa survey commissioned by the Scientific Institute of the AOK (Wido), which is available to the Editorial Network Germany (RND). While respondents in 2019 stated that they needed 43 hours per week for care activities such as nutrition, personal hygiene and administering medication, the time spent was now 49 hours.

The financial burden also increased afterwards despite increased benefits from the nursing care insurance. According to the survey, the average personal contribution climbed from just under 200 euros in 2019 to now 290 euros per month.

The high time demands have a particular impact on your own professional activity. According to the survey, only 46 percent of primary caregivers work full-time. 37 percent have part-time employment and 18 percent are not employed at all. Of the part-time employees, over half said they had reduced their working hours because of care. Among those who are not employed, 28 percent have given up work because of care.

“It is problematic that family caregivers are burdened with an average of 49 hours of care work per week at home and that home care apparently leads to almost one in four people reducing their working hours or giving up their jobs altogether,” AOK CEO Carola Reimann told RND. At the same time, she warned, this would fuel further difficulties in care in the future.

“If caring relatives – predominantly women – reduce their working hours or stop working altogether, this opens the door to poverty in old age in the next generation of those being cared for,” argued Reimann. At the same time, these people were missing from the already tight labor market, including in professional care. “Supply and demand for the compatibility of home care and work must be brought into line,” demanded the AOK boss.