It’s probably no surprise to you that caregiving is expensive. However, according to a recent survey conducted by Caring.com, caregiving costs more than you might think.
Average Caregiving Costs
Being a family caregiver, no matter if you’re caring for a parent, spouse or other relative, can be both time-consuming and an economic strain. According to the survey, almost half spend at least $5,000 out-of-pocket each year. Thirty percent of caregivers spend more than $10,000 annually, while 32 percent spend less than $5,000.
Where It’s Going
Of the family caregivers included in the survey, almost 60 percent lived with their senior. Another 20 percent were paying for loved ones who live in senior communities or long-term care facilities. The remaining 20 percent were assisting loved ones who were still in their own homes.
The most common costs covered were medical bills, medications, and home health care or other in-home care costs, followed by senior housing costs. A number were paying for private housing in a senior living community or around-the-clock care for their seniors. This may account for the 7 percent of caregivers who said they spend at least $50,000 each year covering caregiving costs.
The Working Caregiver
Only about half of those surveyed were retired. Another 39 percent were struggling to balance work with caregiving duties. Of those who work, six out of ten said their jobs were negatively impacted by their caregiving duties.
This is one reason that many family caregivers consider quitting their job, or working fewer hours. It just seems to make sense, and they’re saving money short-term. According to research by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, though, this could be a mistake; not only are they losing out on a paycheck today, but they are also missing out on retirement savings and Social Security benefits. The average loss for caregivers who quit to focus on their duties clocks in at around $300,000. Spending money now for adult day care or in-home care later may be cheaper than paying the price down the road.
According to recent studies, caregiving costs are staggering. Still, your loved one needs your help. A financial planner may be able to help you determine how to save as much money as possible while providing a high level of care.
Caregivers juggling their time between work and watching over a senior loved one can benefit from the assistance of a medical alert system, which brings extra peace of mind to caregiving.