This new report released by the well known special interest and lobbying organization AARP may not be what you would expect.
According to the survey of just over 1,800 family caregivers, spending on out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses averaged $6,954 dollars over a one year period. The new AARP Research Report, “Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs: 2016 Report” stated that caregivers may be putting “their own economic and retirement security at risk” by stepping up to help a loved one.
In addition, the report also found that family caregivers of adults with dementia had nearly twice the OOP costs ($10,697) than those caring for adults without dementia.
Family caregivers stated they were dipping into savings, cutting back on personal spending, saving less for retirement, or taking out loans to pay for the cost of care. And most said they experienced a work-related strain such as having to take unpaid time off.
Do these numbers surprise you? With well over 34 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., one may wonder about the accuracy of the findings (only 1,864 caregivers participated in the survey). After talking to some here at PAL Caregivers, many feel the reported cost of family caregiving is understated and the report is unrealistic. Regardless of the motives of AARP for publishing this information, many feel that the time for a National Plan for Long-Term Care Insurance is now.
With an estimated 21% of households in the United States dealing with the cost of family caregiving and many putting “their own economic and retirement security at risk”, the issue of the Cost of Caregiving must be addressed.
Let us know what you think and what kind of help family caregivers need now. We encourage your comments.
Editors Note: AARP, Inc., formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, is a United States-based interest group with a membership founded in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus, Ph.D., a retired educator from California, and Leonard Davis, later the founder of the Colonial Penn Group of insurance companies
Read the full AARP report Here: Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs: 2016 Report