Survey highlights lack of preparedness on part of caregivers

8/27/2008

NAPLES, Fla. Adults who finance the care of their elderly parents are often not prepared for the responsibility, according to a survey released Tuesday by AgingCare.com, a Web site and online forum for family caregivers.

The survey found that 63 percent of the adults, also known as family caregivers, had no plan as to how they would pay for their parents’ care over the next five years. A further 62 percent said that caring for their parents had affected their ability to plan for their own financial futures, and 54 percent had sacrificed spending money on themselves to pay for parents’ care.

Caregivers are saddled with having to deal with all issues, from such simple activities as purchasing medicine and hearing aid batteries, to handling such debilitating conditions as diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. “With an estimated 34 million Americans providing care for older family members, the survey’s results indicate a financial crisis in the making,” AgingCare publisher Joe Buckheit said. “The caregivers’ lack of planning is impacting their own financial future.”

A statement released to announce the survey did not specify how many people had participated, and AgingCare’s editor could not be reached for comment, but it did include quotes from some people surveyed.

“I am unable to earn the income needed to continue caring for both my parents and my own family,” one respondent wrote. “I’ve not only given up my job, but my dreams, for now. It is very lonely and financially difficult. But I have to do what is right.”

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