Working Caregivers Are Giving Back to Parents, Gallup Says


Caregivers are giving back to the folks who raised them, according to a recent Gallup poll of 2,805 working caregivers.

Almost three-quarters of caregivers who work at least 15 hours a week outside the home are caring for an aging parent. Seven out of 10 of those surveyed say the person they're caring for is older than 75.

Two-thirds of the caregivers live within 10 miles of the person they're taking care of, while 36% say the care receiver lives with them. That makes it possible for caregivers to devote time doing errands and other chores, and indeed, caregivers assume a lot of that responsibility for their loved ones. On average, they report spending about 13 days a month going shopping, do laundry and providing transportation, and six days providing more personal services such as bathing, grooming, dressing and feeding.

Some of the things caregiver do are administrative: about 13 hours a month are spent on setting up doctor visits, researching medical or care services and managing finances But far more time is personal: about five hours a day are spent in companionship or supervision of their loved one.

The ailments that their loved ones suffer vary—in 19% of the cases, it's either a "non-specific age-related disorder," and in 17%, it's some "other" problem, according to the poll. In terms of specific diseases that plague loved ones, Alzheimer's tops the list at 15%, followed by heart disease at 9%, Type 2 diabetes and cancer at 7% each, stoke or aneurysm at 5%, arthritis at 4%, memory decline at 3% and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, eye diseases and Parkinson's disease at 2% each.

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There is not enough space to share my experience. My Mom had a stroke 12/08. After the hospital and rehab and the nursing home, I brought her home. She wanted to be home. And I know that if I had been in the same situation she would have fought to have gotten me home. It was only right that I try.

I had to learn how to feed her through the peg(a feeding tube). Then there was getting someone competent to take care of her while I was at work. I am an attorney. Somehow I was able to balance my work and my role as caregiver and son.

There are some of us out there. And we are out there. namely sons who take care of their mothers. It is a challenge. Franklin told us that death and taxes were things we could not avoid. I learned that as a caregiver: 1) people will disappoint;
2)there are not enough hours of the day and 3)medicare wont pay for everything.

I shopped, I groomed, changed diapers(but once you deal with breaucratic crap from the nursing home I could deal with my mother's diaper) I worried but I got through. I was my mother's keeper. It was a challenge. And the challenge ended this past February when she suddenly died. I miss my Mom but not the challenge

Reginald "reggie" Eugene Sims
Livingston, New Jersey

I am a caregiver of my father whom I moved into our home 4 yrs ago and quit my job to take care of him. I would like to know if there are any new tax laws that allow for more than the dependent deduction? I am on duty 24/7 times 365 times 4 yrs and get no recognition, no pay, no insurance benefits. Is there any laws out there that would allow me to deduct in dollar amounts a percentage of what it would cost if I was paid to offset some of the expenses that amount to more than what he has every month? Or to make my job a little easier by having to pay less taxes so I could perhaps afford to hire some respite care to give me a few hours off each week? Just a few hours maybe one day a week, I'll still be on 24/7. It's not like I'm asking to be paid for what I do but rather I'm asking if there are any additional tax deductions? I know I'm not alone in this, there are millions of son's and daughters in this country who are doing the same thing. Don't get me wrong here. I love my father dearly and do whatever I have to do to make sure he is cared for, unlike my sibling who would rather let the state welfare and taxpayers take the whole burden. Where would our country be if we all refused to take responsibility. I think that at least for those of us who do we should get additional deductions. It seems logical to me that if the Government were to give me more allowable deductions it is still much less than what it would cost our Government If I was unable to take care of my Dad. In order for me to be able to care for my father my husband (bless his soul) has to work 2 full time jobs to support our family. So we are both doing way more work than what is considered normal. And this is America.