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New Study Results Regarding Nonprofessional Caregiving

Posted by @IndianaScott, Thu, Jul 26 4:20pm

I recently read a report titled "The Journey of Caregiving: Honor, Responsibility, and Financial Complexity". It was conducted by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave. Many of the findings are truly startling, many are commonplace to those of us who are or have been caregivers, and it includes a stark look at the coming need for caregiving. This study was professional competed and included responses from over 2,100 caregivers or persons who had been caregivers within the last three years.

This report opens this way "According to this study, eight in ten Americans say that caregiving is the "new normal" in American families. Forty million Americans are currently caregivers — almost as many as the number of Americans holding student debt. These caregivers are providing assistance to nearly 50 million adults receiving care."

WOW! 40 million of us are nonprofessional caregivers and we are caring for some 50 million of our family and friends. We are hardly a cottage industry that is for sure!

It continues with more staggering numbers. Family members provide more than 95% of nonprofessional care for older adults who do not live in nursing facilities. In total family caregivers provide 37 BILLION hours of care annually! Caregivers looking after family or friends log three times as many hours per year than professional caregivers. The estimated value of our caregiving is roughly $500 billion a year — this is 3 TIMES GREATER than Medicaid's expenditures for professional long-term care! Plus they estimate 7 in 10 Americans turning 65 today will need care for prolonged periods in their lives.

They also point out care is expensive! A full time home health aide costs, on average, $46,000 a year while a semi-private room in a nursing home runs $82,000 a year! Like I said staggering!

Not surprising to any of us caregivers the report states "Forty-three percent of our respondents said that the biggest negative surprise of caregiving was how much care and care-related expenses cost."

There is much more of interest in this report and I will post more as I slice and dice it!

Strength, Courage, and Peace!

REPLY

Thanks Scott @IndianaScott for posting this information. It truly is mind boggling for anyone who's thinking about long term care expenses.

Thanks Scott: Having just completed a twelve stint of care giving for my husband, it is a consideration for the one that is left to carry the weight. One does not know how the future will play out. In my case, I had the great opportunity of working at home while my husband was sick. Thus, was able to protect what little savings we had. Not only the long hours and added expense to make the long trips to Mayo or other institutions in the state, University of Michigan and etc. There are in many cases, no time left for the care giver to get help if needed for medical care, personal care and etc. I tried to get long term care insurance and the cost was prohibitive in my case and age. So here we are left with a little savings and perhaps children that won't be able to care for the
survivor of the patient. I was brought up to NOT depend on the government for anything, but that is the end game here if all else fails as it did with my
father. Our elected officials can solve this problem by sitting down and seriously looking how to pay for this type of care. Canada does it with a tax which
is used for health care. When people talk about health care, they are talking about insurance. We need to hold our elected officials accountable and let
them know that in this great country, problems for our sick population can be solved with the right solution. Luckily I came out ok with planning and being
able to work, my health is great. But what about those spouses who are not in great health and can't do the giving? So many questions at this moment
and not enough concern!! Please know that when we are giving, we just don't think of the cost, only how to do the best we can for our loved one!! I just
realized how many hours was put into giving and yes, it was all worth it and would do it again!!! ozys

@johnbishop

Thanks Scott @IndianaScott for posting this information. It truly is mind boggling for anyone who's thinking about long term care expenses.

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Thanks @johnbishop More data to come as well! Trying to cull the best from this as it is 42 pages!

This is my 21st year as a family caregiver. My mother had vascular dementia and I was her family caregiver for 9 years. My twin grandchildren's parents died from the injuries they received in separate car crashes and I was their guardian/caregiver for 7 years. (Our daughter was and always will be the twins' mother.) I've been my disabled husband's primary caregiver since his aorta dissected in 2013. He is paraplegic now and requires lots of loving care. Today, I write books to help family caregivers and give talks on caregiving. According to an estimate from the National Alliance for Caregiving, 65.7 million Americans (that's 29% of the population) are caring for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member during any given year. According to The Family Caregiver Alliance, family caregivers provide about $450 billion in free services per year. Family caregivers are the backbone of health care in America. Statistics are hard to come by because other relatives–aunts, uncles, siblings–are caring for loved ones. Some children are caring for other children. A new trend has emerged and it is "elder orphans," older adults who have no family to turn to in their later years. The demand for caregivers exceeds supply, so family members are stepping forward. I think every family caregiver is a heroine or hero.

@harriethodgson1 It is good to hear from you again. How are you feeling these days?

@IndianaScott Thanks for your work at dicing and slicing this article. It is very relevant for many!

Teresa

Scott,

Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into dissecting this information and sharing it with the people who follow Caregivers. I always read your posts with care and appreciation for your knowledge and experience are invaluable. There is a special place in Heaven for people like you.

Talie

@talie

Scott,

Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into dissecting this information and sharing it with the people who follow Caregivers. I always read your posts with care and appreciation for your knowledge and experience are invaluable. There is a special place in Heaven for people like you.

Talie

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Thank YOU, @talie I so greatly admire every caregiver that this is an easy way to say a bit of thanks to them and to honor each! Caregivers are VERY special folks!

More later from this report…

Strength, courage, and peace!

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