Caregivers In Need of Some Care
By Michelle Singletary
WASHINGTON – America is facing a crisis that will make the federal budget deficit look like a simple bank overdraft fee.
If we don’t figure out how to provide financial support to the millions of family members taking care of seniors with chronic conditions or disabilities, we will have caregivers so overwhelmed that they will be forced to stop helping their elderly relatives. That cost of care will then transfer to the government, and this would mean astronomically higher health care costs or more people being placed in nursing homes, according to a new report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute.
In 2009, about 42.1 million family caregivers provided assistance to an adult with limitations in daily activities such as going to the bathroom, preparing meals or making it to a doctor’s appointment. The AARP report estimates the economic value of family caregiving at $450 billion in 2009, based on those 42.1 million caregivers age 18 or older providing an average of 18.4 hours of care per week at an average value of $11.16 per hour.
Just imagine if much of this voluntary care were gone.
Historically, providing care to the elderly wasn’t such a dire public policy issue.
People didn’t live as long as they do now. But what happens when the need for long-term care goes on for years or decades?
The long-term care needs of many of our elderly are straining families, just as family structures have changed and during one of the worst economies in decades.
There are more women in the workforce, making it harder for them to provide care.
Almost two-thirds of family caregivers are female. More than eight in 10 care for a relative or friend age 50 or older.
The caregivers at Andelcare are available to talk with you and your family about all of your live-in home care needs. Andelcare is a home care agency providing quality and affordable home care in Seattle and the surrounding areas. Call 888-788-3051 for more information.