In an aging society, being a caregiver is expensive

Posted on August 04, 2011 by Michael Corley, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

There are actually 303,880 reasons to worry about caregiving. According to a study recently released by AARP, the average caregiver will realize a lifetime income related loss of $303,880.

Is this inevitable? Statistics show that most of us will become caregivers at some point in our lives. With aging grandparents, parents, and friends -- yes. As noted in previous blogs, the recognition of becoming a caregiver is foreign to most. We just don’t want to think about it.

This is certainly understandable as there is the perception there is little glamorous about being a caregiver. While it can be rewarding, the facts are it is hard and disruptive work.  An interesting and informative study recently released by AARP discusses the expense and scope of being a caregiver.

$303,880. This is real money and should get a lot of people’s attention.

It is because of the magnitude of this issue that The Patterson Foundation is taking an evolving interest.  While we realize we can’t cure the causes of dementia (nor is that our space). But we do believe we can help the caregivers of this disorder and others.

As you have read in previous blogs, a typical question for those of us who will find ourselves in a caregiving role will be/is, “What do I do now?”  Despite the increasing number of caregivers in our country, there is limited information about local resources, tools and support systems for caregivers in each community (and each community is very different).  We believe that by providing real-time information at a local level, we can help caregivers make the right decisions and care for their loved ones.

We are working on the partnerships to do just this.

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