By Caring.com, Special for USDR
Over 4 in 10 family caregivers spend $5,000 or more per year on caregiving expenses, according to a new Caring.com report. A family caregiver is defined as someone who takes care of a family member or friend, but is unpaid for their services. The most common out-of-pocket expenses for family caregivers are food and clothing (62%) and transportation (60%), followed by medications and other medical costs (44%).
Of family caregivers:
- 18% spend from $5,000 to $9,999
- 10% spend from $10,000 to $19,999
- 5% spend $20,000 to $29,999
- 4% spend $30,000 to $49,999
- 5% spend $50,000 or more each year.
- 20% don’t know how much they spend.
Additionally, expenses are a bit higher for family caregivers who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Eighteen percent of caregivers to loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia are more likely to spend $20,000 or more per year compared to 11% of caregivers to people who haven’t been diagnosed with either disease.
“Caregiving can be very costly, especially if your loved one has Alzheimer’s,” said Dayna Steele, Caring.com’s Chief Caring Expert and the author of Surviving Alzheimer’s With Friends, Facebook and a Really Big Glass of Wine. “But you’re not alone, there are plenty of online resources that provide information, tools and support groups on how to deal with the financial burdens of caregiving.”
Caregiving not only affects finances but also employment. Seventy-nine percent of family caregivers who are either working full-time or part-time have missed work in the past 12 months; 31% have missed at least seven days.
- 72% of employed family caregivers say that caregiving has had a strong or some negative impact on their job.
- Caregiving also causes distractions at work for currently employed caregivers, 60% had to make changes to their work schedule and 31% frequently arrive late to work or leave early.
- 59% of the family caregivers surveyed live with the person for whom they are caring for. More than half of them (56%) are spouses and a quarter (25%) said their loved one moved in with them.
- Only 22% of people being cared for live in an assisted-living center, nursing home or other living community.
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Caring.com’s yearly Caregiver Journey survey measures how family caregivers of older adults living in the U.S. hold up financially as they care for elder loved ones. From July 19 – August 10, 2016, the online survey was conducted by Pretell Market Research amongst people searching online for senior care-related content, and received responses from 2,512 unique individuals. No incentive was offered.
With three million visitors per month, Caring.com is a leading senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. A Bankrate company headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., Caring.com provides helpful caregiving content, online support groups, and a comprehensive Senior Care Directory for the United States, with nearly 120,000 consumer ratings and reviews and a toll-free senior living referral line at (800) 325-8591. Connect with Caring.com on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and/or YouTube.