Alzheimer’s Caregiving Costs Families Over $4,000 a Month
More than a quarter of Alzheimer's caregivers spend over $4,000 each month on their loved one's care, according to a new AgingCare.com survey of more than 1,600 people taking care of a family member with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Top costs include paying for services such as professional home care, adult day care, assisted living and nursing home care.
View the report: "The Financial Impact of Alzheimer's on Family Caregivers: 2014"
"Alzheimer's caregivers face some of the most astronomically devastating financial costs," says Joe Buckheit, president of AgingCare.com, an online resource that connects family caregivers. To raise awareness of the impact of Alzheimer's disease on families during Alzheimer's Awareness Month and Family Caregiver Month, AgingCare.com's survey "The Financial Impact of Alzheimer's on Family Caregivers: 2014" highlights the unique financial challenges faced by the more than 15 million Americans taking care of a family member with Alzheimer's.
Over half of Alzheimer's caregivers reported significant financial stress, an unsurprising statistic given the combined challenge of massive financial costs and career-altering sacrifices that countless caregivers must make. Nearly 30% were forced to reduce their working hours as a result of their loved one's care needs, while 25% had to quit their job entirely.
"It was impossible for me to continue my job and care for my family's needs," says one caregiver. "Calls would come at any time of the day and night." Even those who don't have to quit may find their professional opportunities restricted.
One major issue is that too many families don't discuss future care needs and financial concerns in advance. Sixty-one percent of Alzheimer's caregivers say their loved one neglected to prepare for their care needs prior to being diagnosed, while fewer than half actually sat down with their family to talk about financial concerns.
The most often mentioned piece of wisdom from long-time Alzheimer's caregivers: plan early and have the tough conversations.
"Every day, Alzheimer's caregivers—many of whom are balancing the needs of aging family members with those of their own children—are confronted by impossible choices," says Buckheit. "By talking to and connecting with other caregivers who've been in similar situations, these men and women can find practical and emotional support to make the best decisions for their families."
- 38% of Alzheimer's caregivers provide more than 30 hours/week of unpaid care for a loved one.
- 64% are caring for a parent, while 18% are caring for a spouse.
- 51% of people with Alzheimer's are living at home and being cared for by a family member, a paid caregiver, or both.
AgingCare.com is the go-to destination for family caregivers, providing trusted information, practical answers to real-life questions, and ongoing support through every challenge. Our mission is to help families prepare for and navigate the care of an elderly loved one. Visit www. AgingCare.com to learn more.
For more information or to schedule an interview with an Alzheimer's caregiver, contact: