14 Alarming Statistics About Caregiving

More than ever, children find themselves caring for adult parents who are no longer able to care for themselves. Although the nursing home system is reforming, changes still take time to occur. Many adult children are having to move their parents into their homes and provide uncompensated, full-time care.

Many well-intentioned adult children are going into debt caring for their aging parents. Although this offers even more precious time with our loved ones, it can negatively impact finances, relationships, and potentially the health of everyone involved. For example, according to The Family Caregiver Alliance, the stress of family caregiving for people with dementia has been shown to impact a person’s immune system up to three years after their caregiving ends.

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Below are a few more shocking statistics about caregiving that every family should know.

  1. The estimated cost of “free” caregiving per year in the US is 375 billion. That is double the amount spent on homecare and nursing home services combined. 
  2. Over 65 million people (29%) of the US population give care to chronically ill, disabled, or elderly family members/friends. They provide an estimated 20 hours a week of care. 
  3. On average, adult children giving care to aging parents are women around the age of 49. These individuals often care for their widowed mother, typically 20 years her senior. 
  4. 66% of caregivers are employed women. Over 37% have children or grandchildren under the age of 18.
  5. Twenty hours a week is the average number of hours family caregivers spend caring for their loved ones. 13% of family caregivers provide 40 hours of care weekly or more. 
  6. Family caregivers provide more nationwide long-term care than Medicaid.
  7. 51% of care recipients live alone. 29% live with their family caregiver, and 4% live in nursing homes. 36% of family caregivers care for a parent, and 7 out 10 caregivers are caring for loved ones over 50.
  8. 78% of adults living in the community needing long-term care have to depend on family and friends as their only source of help.
  9. Women who are family caregivers are 2.5 times likely than non-caregivers to live in poverty and five times more likely to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  10. 47% of working caregivers report having to use up their savings. 
  11. The average family caregiver for someone 50 plus spends 5,531 per year on out-of-pocket caregiving expenses. 
  12. 23% of family caregivers caring for loved ones report poor to fair health. 
  13. 72% of family caregivers report not going to the doctor as often as they should. 55% say they as skipping doctors’ appointments for themselves. 63% of caregivers report having poor eating habits than non-caregivers. 58% report worse exercise habits than before caregiving responsibilities. 
  14. Seniors report making trade-offs to save money in the short term that potentially harms them in the long run. 23% report putting off home and car repairs that can lead to accidents and falls. 15% report cutting pills, limiting their effectiveness. 14% of seniors report skipping meals, which can cause nutrient deficiency.

 

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Final Thoughts

Caring for aging parents is a concern that everyone may face one day. Everyone wants their loved ones to have the longest, happiest life imaginable. But one person can only do so much. It is important to discuss this topic with one’s family and be adequately prepared when the time comes. If you are caring for an aging family member and are already dealing with financial struggles, hopefully, this information will aid you in making the best decision for you and your aging loved one.

References

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/financial-legal/info-2021/prevent-and-manage-debt.html?intcmp=AE-CAR-LEG-BB-LL3
https://www.ncoa.org/caregivers/money/management/debt
https://www.caregiveraction.org/resources/caregiver-statistics
https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/financial-legal/info-2020/managing-someone-elses-money.html

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