Back in May, I gave some ideas on what you should do before helping an elderly loved one. Then on June 18, I touched on it again. Now, a just-released report has kicked the importance of this up a notch.
Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update - The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving found that in 2009, about 1 in 4 Americans provided care to an adult who needed help because of a disability or chronic condition.
The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions: Approximately $450 billion in 2009, up from an estimated $375 billion in 2007 — a 21% increase. The report also explains the contributions of family caregivers; and details the costs and consequences of providing family care.
Besides the financial aspect, all this can take a toll on a caregiver’s mental wellbeing, too. According to the report, 69% of the caregivers said taking care of a loved one was their number one source of stress.
You can read the complete report here.
Staying at home to receive care is indeed the preference for most people. As I wrote in A Boomer’s Guide to Long-term Care …
“… six times as many elderly people with disabilities live at home than in nursing homes.”
And I explain the options you have so you can make a choice based on your circumstances.
Life expectancies are increasing, health care costs are soaring and retirement accounts are floundering. So planning for the day when you or a loved one needs additional help doing the things you take for granted right now, has become even more important.
Don’t put it off.