Economics of Caregiving
Women who are family caregivers are 2.5 times more likely than non-caregivers to live in poverty and five times more likely to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
47% of working caregivers indicate an increase in caregiving expenses has caused them to use up ALL or MOST of their savings.
The average family caregiver for someone 50 years or older spends $5,531 per year on out of pocket caregiving expenses in 2007 which was more than 10% of the median income for a family caregiver that year.
Impact on Family Caregiver’s Health
23% of family caregivers caring for loved ones for 5 years or more report their health is fair or poor.
Nearly three quarters (72%) of family caregivers report not going to the doctor as often as they should and 55% say they skip doctor appointments for themselves. 63% of caregivers report having poor eating habits than non-caregivers and 58% indicate worse exercise habits than before caregiving responsibilities.
20% of employed female caregivers over 50 years old report symptoms of depression compared to 8% of their non-caregiving peers.
40% to 70% of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression with approximately a quarter to half of these caregivers meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression.
More than 1 in 10 (11%) of family caregivers report that caregiving has caused their physical health to deteriorate.
A wife’s hospitalization increased her husband’s chances of dying within a month by 35%. A husband’s hospitalization boosted his wife’s mortality risk by 44%.
Caregiving and Work
Six in 10 family caregivers are employed.
64% of working parents caring for a special needs child believe that caregiving responsibility has negatively impacted their work performance.
American businesses can lose as much as $34 billion each year due to employees’ need to care for loved ones 50 years of age and older.
Caregivers caring for elderly loved ones cost employers 8% more in health care costs estimated to be worth $13.4 billion per year.
Over 65% of employers believe that health benefits improve employees’ health. Sixty percent (60%) believe it increases moral and 39% believe it increases productivity.
Rice University, Health and Retirement Study; National Institute of Aging study conducted by the University of Michigan, 1992-2004; Disability and American Families: 2000; Census 2000 Special Reports, July 2005; Evercare Survey of the Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Family Caregiving; National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. March 2009; Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Family Caregiving, 2008 Update. AARP; Caregiving in the United States; National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009; Drs. Janice-Kiecolt Glaser and Ronald Glaser, “Chronic stress and age-related increases in the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6”; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 30, 2003; Elissa S. Epel, Dept of Psychiatry, Univ of Calif, SF, et al; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dec 7, 2004, Vol 101, No. 49; Evercare Study of Caregivers in Decline: A Close-Up Look at Health Risks of Caring for a Loved One; National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. 2006; MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs; National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Mature Market Institute. February 2010; Zarit, S. (2006). Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Research Perspective; How Do Family Caregivers Fare? A Closer Look at their Experiences. Center on Aging Society, 2005; Nicholas D. Christakis, Professor, Health-care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Suzanne Salamon, M.D., Associate Chief, Geriatric Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston; New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 16, 2006; MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs; National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Mature Market Institute, February 2010; Caregiving in the United States;National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP, November 2009; Care.com and National Family Caregivers Association: State of Care Index, 2009; MetLife Caregiving Cost Study: Productivity Losses to U.S.; MetLife Mature Market Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving Business, July 2006; MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs; National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Mature Market Institute, February 2010; Job-based Health Insurance in the Balance: Employer Views of Coverage in the Workplace, Collins, S.R. et al, The Commonwealth Fund; Commonwealth Fund Supplement to the 2003 National Organization Study, March 2004.