The cost of being a family caregiver

Elder economic security campaign One Away, sponsored by the National Council on Aging, produced a video on the cost of caregiving. In the video, 61-year-old Sheryl describes her experience being a caregiver for her aging parents. Originally, Sheryl thought she’d only need to take a couple months off of work to care for her mother after a heart surgery. It turned into a full-time caregiving job for both of her parents — a job that has lasted more than a decade.

In order to do so, Sheryl left a six-figure job as a corporate event planner. She’s since developed health problems of her own due to caregiver stress, which has prolonged her husband’s retirement so Sheryl can still be insured. Despite the struggles she’s facing, Sheryl still manages to eloquently tell her story with plenty of humor, creativity and, most importantly, love.

Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTjicE-2_vA

Caregiver stats (via the Family Caregiving Alliance):

  • 29 percent of the U.S. adult population (65.7 million people) are currently providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged.
  • In 2009, caregiver services were valued at $450 billion per year, up from $375 billion in 2007.
  • The number of elderly adults is expected to more than double by 2030, increasing to an estimated 71.5 million seniors.
  • 66 percent of caregivers are female with an average age of 48.
  • About 51 percent of caregivers (male and female) are between the ages of 18 and 49.
  • Of those caring for someone 65-plus, the average age is 63, with one third of caregivers in fair to poor health.
  • 64 percent of caregivers were employed at some point during the last 12 months.
  • 70 percent of working caregivers have work-related difficulties due to their dual caregiving roles.
  • Among working caregivers, 5 percent turn down a promotion, 4 percent choose early retirement and 6 percent give up working entirely.
  • Caregivers spend an average of 20.4 hours a week providing are.
  • In 2010, 14.9 million families and other unpaid caregivers provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia – an estimated value of $202.6 billion.
  • The average duration of someone providing care is 4.6 years.

Encompass Senior Solutions currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”