The group of caregivers that we think about are women. That's the first thing I'll tell you, and the literature will support that. The research we do at NICE will support that it is often a very gendered issue.
I want to focus for just one second on a group that we work with very heavily, which is grandparents raising grandchildren. They have stayed off the radar for a very long time, but we have conducted two national research studies with grandparents raising grandchildren. I can tell you about the situation for those caregivers. We don't often see that group as caregivers, we see it as a family responsibility when something has gone on, and it's an issue of family dynamics. Their financial situation is very dire. I can tell you that most of the participants in our study, 75% of them, were making between $15,000 and $50,000, and their legal fees for the year were way more than that. As a group of caregivers, that's very problematic.
I think we have to start to look at caregivers in separate groups. Dementia caregivers have different responsibilities and roles. Caregivers who are working with older adults who are in institutions are faced with different challenges and responsibilities. Caregivers for parents who are new immigrants who have language barriers also have very different challenges and roles. We have to start to unpack some of the ideas we hold with regard to caregivers and start to look at them as separate groups requiring very specific, targeted supports. I don't think the current support system is helping everybody out to the maximum level they can. We do work with vulnerable populations, and oftentimes they are heavily represented by caregivers who are women.
I'll tell you one last point, and then we can move on to someone else. Caregiving actually leads to a lot of family strife. Within the context of age-friendly communities, one of the things we recognized is that for those who are socially isolated, oftentimes it is as a result of family dynamics issues. It comes because of caregiving responsibilities sometimes. So if we can help support caregivers, we can empower and strengthen our communities and also take better care of our older citizens.