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Cost of Caring for Elderly Parents Could Be Next Financial Crisis

A survey conducted by AgingCare.com found that although adult children are often responsible for paying for their elderly parent's care, the large majority of caregivers are vastly unprepared. The survey found:

  • 63% of caregivers have no plan as to how they will pay for their parent's care over the next five years.
  • 62% say the cost of caring for a parent has impacted their ability to plan for their own financial future.

"With an estimated 34 million Americans providing care for older family members, the survey's results indicate a financial crisis in the making," says Joe Buckheit, Publisher of AgingCare.com, a website and online forum for family caregivers.

"Medicare only covers long-term care for a short time, and only under strict rules. Medigap insurance helps, but does not cover all costs. The burden of paying for long-term care often rests with the family," Buckheit says. "The caregivers' lack of planning is impacting their own financial future."

Long-term care costs are not the only expenses caregivers bear. "Family members responsible for ailing loved ones provide not only hands-on care but often reach into their own pockets to pay for many daily expenses, including groceries, household goods, drugs, medical co-payments and transportation," says Buckheit. "Americans who are already strapped for cash by the rising price of gas and food are unable to afford these additional expenses." The survey found:

  • 34% spend $300 or more per month out of their own pocket for caregiving expenses.
  • 54% have sacrificed spending money on themselves to pay for care of their parents.
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