According to the Caregiver Action Network; Each year more Americans are caring for a loved one with a chronic condition, disability, or the frailties of old age. There are as many as 90 million family caregivers in the U.S. today. Two out of every 5 adults are family caregivers. 39% of all adult Americans are caring for a loved one who is sick or disabled – up from 30% in 2010. Family caregivers are the backbone of the Nation’s long-term care system. According to a 2011 AARP study, family caregivers provide $450 billion worth of unpaid care each year. That’s more than total Medicaid funding, and twice as much as homecare and nursing home services combined.
The economic impact of being a family caregiver hit home with me several years ago when I stopped working to care for my mother. Not only did I lose income, I also lost social security contributions that could have been accruing. Unfortunately, my mother was not in a position to financially reimburse me.
The burden that caregiving families are facing is overwhelming and more needs to be done to help financially support caregivers. Consider sharing your story with your legislative representatives so they understand the role of caregivers and the families they represent, or leave a comment here and I will forward your comments to the right government leaders.
Take care and stay healthy,
Founder, The Senior Sage