Caring for aging parents and other elderly dependents can take an emotional and financial toll on caregivers. A study released Monday suggests the financial impacts can be burdensome.Adults who take care of older loved ones on average spend about 10 percent of their income doing so, according to a new study from the nonprofit National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare, a long-term care coordination organization. The study, called “What They Spend, What They Sacrifice,” found people caring for someone older than 50 have average out-of-pocket costs of $5,531 per year. More than a third quit their jobs or cut down on work, which increases their financial burden. Caregivers spend the most money on household goods, food, transportation, medical fees and clothing. Many caregivers have to change their personal lifestyle by cutting down on leisure activities, vacations and major purchases. A third of caregivers have to dig into personal savings to help cover the costs and a quarter delay their own health care.
Long-term care is becoming an increasingly important issue in Colorado because the elderly population is expected to double by 2020.