When a loved one is in need of some care, it's natural for the family to want to offer support and assistance. However, the emotional toll is just one weighing aspect to those caregivers. It turns out that the financial strains are great as well.
Transamerica Institute recently conducted a study that found caregiving to be somewhat volatile for those who try to help an aging family member. The study compiled some statistics that show the potential financial strain on caregivers:
- Fifty-two percent are working full or part time.
- Of these working caregivers, more than three-fourths report making some type of an adjustment to their employment -- using sick time or vacation days, working fewer hours or quitting their jobs or retiring.
- More than one-fourth of working caregivers' employers have reacted negatively to the workers' caregiving responsibilities.
- Caregivers spend a median of $150 per month to cover expenses for the recipient. Almost half of all caregivers (43 percent) say they're "just getting by" with their finances.
- More than half (56 percent) say their own health is taking a back seat to the health of their recipient.
Caregivers also report being unprepared for their roles. Almost half (49 percent) of caregivers perform medical- or nursing-related tasks, but only about half of these caregivers learned how to carry out these tasks from hospital or doctor staff. "Many caregivers are in need of formal training to perform their caregiving duties, especially those involved in medical- or nursing-related tasks," said Hector De La Torre, executive director of Transamerica Center for Health Studies. "Without adequate training, they are putting both the care recipient and themselves in harm's way."\