Study Finds High Cost Of Caring For Aging Parent

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The findings, released this week, provide the first detailed look at out-of-pocket spending among the estimated 34 million Americans providing care for older family members or friends.

Compared to home health care rates, adult day care is less expensive and offers many more services. A 2007 survey conducted by MetLife Mature Market Institute shows the national average hourly rate for home health aides is $19, usually requiring a minimum of 4 hours a day. Adult Day Care Centers charge an average $61 for a six- to eight-hour day.

"So many people are making sacrifices to care for those they love," says Deborah Delaney, co-owner of SarahCare Adult Day Services. "Not only are they spending an average of 10 percent of their household income, they are also often sacrificing their own health."

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According to the study, 37 percent quit their jobs or reduced their hours to care for an aging loved one. Others were forced to take out loans, dip into savings or forgo saving for their children's future, as well as often ignore their own health care to deal with the financial burden.

Adult day care is an affordable option, explains Delaney. It allows a caregiver to continue working knowing their loved one is in a safe and caring environment. Deborah Delaney and Ren Hull established the first SarahCare(R) Center in Savage, Minnesota, in 2004 servicing the Twin Cities Metro Area. The center provides individualized, therapeutic day services for vulnerable adults 18 years and older living independently or for those whose families care for them at home but need respite care during the day.

"We're committed to keeping families together by helping vulnerable adults stay in their homes and communities," Delaney says. "By providing a wide variety of needed services during the day such as community based chronic care management, we're also trying to relieve some of the responsibilities of family members and caregivers -- now estimated at nearly one out of four families."

In addition to adult day services and chronic care management, SarahCare also offers In-home care and transportation services.

"By providing Adult Day Services, In-Home Care, Chronic Care Management and Transportation, SarahCare is able to support multiple health related issues to a families loved one while working with one company versus several," Delaney says.

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