Believe it or not, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving, over 44 million people in the U.S. today are providing care for an aging family member instead of utilizing professional paid family caregiving. Being the caregiver for an older parent takes its toll on families. While these unpaid caregivers think they are saving money by doing it themselves, there are some costs they might not even realize.
Is Unpaid Family Caregiving Really Cost Effective?
Many families don’t think they can afford the costs of caregiving. In fact, many people think that they are actually saving money by providing care themselves..
Unfortunately, many people are wrong about the actual costs of paid family caregiving. Often times, they are not saving money at all. There are so many hidden costs involved in being a dedicated full-time family caregiver and sometimes it is hard to see everything clearly. Here are some of them:
4 Hidden Costs of Family Caregiving
- Career Issues – The long hours and demanding responsibility of the family caregiver can take a serious toll on a career. Constantly missing work and having a lower production level will surely decrease chances of a promotion or raise. Some families truly underestimate the negative impact a dedicated caregiver’s schedule will have in the workplace, which can cost thousands for a family.
- Health Care Costs Due to Personal Illness – There is a trend that indicates that many caregivers begin to experience their own failing health due to the stress and hectic schedules they keep. The recent national caregiver survey by The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP indicates that about 30% of caregivers say they are stressed out and suffer from anxiety or depression. This means increased healthcare costs for family caregivers.
- Lost Wages – Those who are the main family caregiver often must miss work to take care of their aging parent. This results in a loss of wages and sometimes even their jobs. Men typically lose an average of $90k due to loss of work time for caregiving, whereas women, who are more often the main caregivers, lose around $143k.
- Retirement and Other Lost Employee Benefits – According to a MetLife study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers, the estimated lost wages, including pension, and Social Security benefits that would have been earned by caregivers of parents in the U.S. is almost $3 trillion. In addition, employees lose not only wages, but also their chance to contribute to their company’s 401(k) plan.
How LTLA Helps Your Family
Our Geriatric Care Manager and team at LTLA may be the solution needed for your family’s caregiver needs. They assist individuals with all aspects of their healthcare at a time when they most need support and guidance. The caregiving team steps in when the family can’t; insuring each individual’s medical concerns are met. They also share in the decision making between patients, family, and their healthcare providers. LTLA simplifies the process and saves the family time, emotional stress, and the financial burden that come with aging.
Get the Help You Need for Your Family
- The many benefits of paid family caregiving outweigh the costs
- The long-term money lost due to lost wages will more than finance paid family caregiving
- The Long Term Living Association is here to help provide home healthcare services for your family
Let the Long Term Living Association help your family. We work together to come up with a solution that is best for your unique situation. We are just a phone call away and are always here to help. Call us today at (800) 868-1193 to schedule an appointment with our experts.
Geriatric Care Manager
LORIE GARDNER, RN BSN