According to a Caring.com report, 42 percent of family members taking care of Alzheimer’s or dementia family members spend upwards of $20,000 or more per year. These care-giving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for assisted living, medications, medical bills, professional in-home caregivers, products for incontinence, wandering products, transportation, and more.
Of the 42 percent of the caregivers that spend more than $20,000 per year, 33 percent spend upwards of $30,000 or even more per year in care-giving. Only 8 percent of Alzheimer’s caregivers don’t keep track of their expenses and don’t know how much they spent.
Surprisingly, 62 percent of family caregivers pay for Alzheimer’s care out of their own pockets. About 51 percent use their family member’s savings, 42 percent use their loved one’s health insurance plan, 33 percent apply for government benefits, 16 percent use credit cards, and 10 percent use long-term healthcare insurance.
Andy Cohen, Caring.com CEO, said in a press release: “The numbers are staggering. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to triple as the population continues to age. The majority of family caregivers care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s for at least a few years, with some even extending over a decade. For nearly half of caregivers, caring for Alzheimer’s could cost up to $100,000 or more over just five years.”
Approximately 22 percent of family caregivers say that it has put them in debt; Alzheimer’s and dementia affects more than one’s bank account. About 97 percent of family caregivers feel that their marriages, friendships, and other personal relationships have suffered and some even ended as a result of the pressure. 76 percent feel their emotional equilibrium was affected as a result of their care-giving, and 55 percent say that they feel physical consequences as well (their health has declined). 56 percent of the caregivers taking care of their beloved ones had to quit their jobs or said their careers were negatively affected because of their duties and obligations.
Mr. Cohen concluded: “This is a good opportunity to talk to loved ones about future care, and for family caregivers to ask for and get support. As the numbers show, caring for Alzheimer’s is difficult on many levels, which is why it’s so important to have an open dialogue with trusted family and friends.”