The five hidden costs of being a Caregiver
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What are the hidden costs of being a Caregiver
Caregivers have one of the hardest jobs possible. First, they take on their heroic role out of a sense of love as well as personal duty. However, the physical, emotional as well as financial cost is big part of the total picture. Second of all, caregivers truly believe that caring for aging loved ones is cheaper than a professional caregiver. The same applies with Assisted Living. To sum up, caregiver help, assisted living facilities as well as nursing homes are very costly. Therefore, it must be cheaper to do care giving yourself.
However, you might be wrong in the calculation. First, there are many other costs to family care giving that are not as obvious. Hence, these ought to be considered before becoming the full-time caregiver for a family member or friend. To sum up, knowing about the costs help non-caregivers appreciate the sacrifice caregivers are making everyday.
Here are the five hidden costs of Caregiving
1. Lost Wages and Income
Fact, often a family caregivers has to quit their jobs. Second, they often reduce their work hours as well as retire early. According to a recent survey preformed by Gallup, most all family caregivers have said that the role of care giving has had a negatively impacted their job and career. Furthermore, Met-Life Insurance Company’s recently released data that has uncovered some shocking facts. To sum up, the average caregiver’s lost wages over time amount to over 140 Thousand dollars.
2. Lowering the Employ-ability factor
The problems continue. For example, Caregivers tat leave work for months or years often find it hard to get another job when their caregiver time. This challenge is diminishing because of low unemployment.
3. Increased Health Care Costs
Again, care-giving is a physically and mentally challenge. These challenges are truly taxing. The researchers at Gallup, tells us caregivers have worse physical and emotional health than other people who are not caregivers. What’s more, the Center on Aging found that over 10% of caregivers say their own health has begun to decline. Result, higher healthcare costs for family caregivers. To illustrate, this hits hard for those who have lost their own health insurance because they quit the job to become the family caregivers.
4. The Lose of Personal Savings and Retirement
Caregiver spend a lot Out of pocket. These expenditures by the caregivers will really start adding up. A study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare tells us that over 45 Percent of working caregivers have used up all or most of their personal savings. Naturally, caregivers who left the work force have no income. In fact, this will make it hard to maintain savings and retirement funds. Leaving the workforce will also lower the social security benefit.
5. Reduced Productivity Levels
Moreover, costs of care giving are not solely on the caregiver’s physical, mental and financial problem. The US economy is also heavily impacted. Met-Life found that US businesses lose over 30 billion dollars every year due to employees’(caregiver) need to care for their loved ones.
Where Do the Hidden Costs Originate?
One reason that caregiving is so costly is that, according to MetLife, caregivers typically underestimate the amount time they will be providing care. We might imagine ourselves providing care a few hours per week for a couple of months, but end up providing care a few hours per day for a couple of years. Leaving the workforce for two months may be tolerable, but leaving the workforce for a couple years can be financially decimating.
A Way Forward?
The immediate burden of caregiving may be obvious, but the long term costs are now beginning to be understood as well. How can these costs be mitigated? A report by AARP’s Public Policy Institute made several recommendations:
- Implement family-friendly workplace policies such as flextime and working from home.
- Preserve and expand protections of the Family Medical Leave Act.
- Expand funding for the National Family Caregiver program.
- Provide a tax credit for caregiving.
- Pay family caregivers through Medicaid or other publicly funded programs.
There are no easy answers to this conundrum, but we believe it’s important have a conversation about the vital and honorable role of family caregivers, and what can be done to make their lives easier.