Report - Family Caregivers: What They Spend, What They Sacrifice

MK Editor
  • It seems like everytime I turn around there is a new study or development about Alzheimer's or caregiving in the news. And thank goodness. This means that the public is becoming more aware, and more affected by these issues. It means that fixing some of the many problems with elder care is becoming part of our national dialogue.


    The New York Times Ran a Story today titled "Cost of Elderly Care Is Double Prior to Estimates", which sums up a new study, conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare, a division of the United Health Group.


    The study has some fascinating new findings. The 1,000 adults that they interviewed over the phone, on average, spend 10% of their income on caring for their elders, the majority of those funds going towards food and transportation.

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    The 1,000 individuals interviewed were all caring for a parent or spouse.


    The most common tactic for covering these excess costs is cutting back on leisurely spending- things like vacations, home improvements, and other big projects. Many people are having to dip into their retirement savings.


    As a result of their decreasing funds, these caregivers are not spending what they should on their own healthcare.


    In addition to the telephone interviews, 41 men and women who were currently caring for an elder were paid $100 to keep an expense diary over the course of a month. These diarists reported sharply higher expenses than the those interviewed on the telephone.



Published On: November 19, 2007