Out-Of-Pocket Costs Of Caring For Parent, Spouse $5,500
- 37% of respondents had to quit their jobs or reduce their working hours to care for elderly family members or friends;
- The most common out-of-pocket costs cited by respondents included household goods and foods (42%), followed by transportation (39%), medical copayments and prescription drugs (31%), clothing (21%), and home repair and maintenance (13%); and
- The most common strategies used to cover out-of-pocket costs included reductions in spending on leisure activities (49%), reductions in spending on vacations (47%), delays of major purchases or home improvements (34%), use of personal savings (34%), limits on personal savings (27%) and delays of personal health care (23%).
Inaddition, the study included separate diary reports from 41 adults who caredfor elderly people and received $100 to track their out-of-pocket costs duringone month. The study found that the diarists on average had annualout-of-pocket costs of $12,348. The study did not explain the differencebetween the annual out-of-pocket costs of the diarists and those of the surveyrespondents. The study recommended increased government assistance for adultswho care for elderly parents or spouses through tax deductions, tax credits orother stipends.
NAC President Gail Gibson Hunt said, "Typically, when people talk aboutservices for caregivers, they meanrespite care, support groups and things like that," adding, "Theydon't think of the financial side being tied into the burden. If you'respending 10% of your income, that's part of what's weighing on you, and policymakershaven't paid enough attention to that" (Gross, New York Times,11/19).
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