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Posted: April 17, 2007

Who Pays Eldercare's Tab -- Caregiver or Elderly?

More than a third of family caregivers taking part in an online survey at the website said the elderly family members they care for cover all of their own expenses, while fully half of the caregivers said they helped pay at least a portion of the eldercare tab.
Most of the other surveyed caregivers pointed to a combination of long-term care insurance (6%) or churches and other similar organizations (4%) as helping pay some of their loved one's living and care expenses.
"What this means is that caregiving still takes a huge bite out of the family caregiver's wallet and that third-party programs haven't really made a dent in the eldercare cash drain at this point," said Chris Pederson, founder and chief executive of CaregiversHome.
"That said, it is worth noting – and I believe significant – that a third of the elderly seem to have the means to cover their own expenses," Pederson added. "This is especially noteworthy when you see all forms of eldercare costs rising, from in-home care to assisted living, medications and the general U.S. cost of living."
In the online survey, the elderly were responsible for all of their out-of-pocket costs in 36% of the cases.
The survey showed that 17% of all responding caregivers reported paying more than half of their loved one's expenses, and another 17% said their siblings joined them in covering these costs, typically for an aging parent. Seven percent said they were responsible for 100% of their elderly's out-of-pocket living and care costs, while 8% reported being responsible for less than half their loved one's ongoing expenses.
"The net effect of caregivers having to cover a large or even total share of Mom's or Dad's expenses is that their own lifestyle and future plans for retirement get shortchanged," said Pederson, "and that is a sad fact for so many adult children of parents needing their help."
The CaregiversHome website at is consistently ranked as one of the most often visited online destinations for elder-caregivers. CaregiversHome, owned and operated by Pederson Publishing, Inc., of Southport, Connecticut, provides a full service destination for caregivers, offering actionable and up-to-date information, identification of and access to important caregiving resources, and ongoing caregiver support through a variety of peer- and expert-driven online community options. The company also publishes a monthly newsletter, Caregiver's Home Companion, to educate and nourish the caregiver, and a weekly newsletter, The Caregiver's Hotline, to keep caregivers current on news development of importance to them and their elderly loved ones.

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