Taking care of aged people becoming costlier: Study

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Washington, Nov 19 (UNI) Caring an aging parent or spouse is becoming costlier day by day in the US and the caregivers, who spend about 10 per cent of their household income on this, handle the financial crisis by taking out loans and compromising on their own health, a recent study found.

The survey found that of the 1,000 respondents, only two had never spent any money on caregiving while the rest spent almost 10 per cent of their incomes on the same.

The report, titled ''Family Caregivers: What They Spend, What They Sacrifice,'' was prepared by research and policy organisation National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare, a division of the United Health Group.

President of the National Alliance for Caregiving Gail Gibson Hunt said, ''Typically, when people talk about services for caregivers, they mean respite care, support groups and things like that. They don't think of the financial side being tied into the burden.'' With this arguement, the report has urged government assistance for family caregivers through tax deductions, tax credits or other stipends.

''If you're spending 10 per cent of your income, that's part of what's weighing on you, and policymakers haven't paid enough attention to that,'' the New York Times quoted Mr Hunt as saying.

The most common expenses for caregivers include expenses on household goods and food, transportation, medical co-payments, pharmaceuticals, clothing, home repair and maintenance.

To cover these costs, most of the caregivers have to reduce their expenses on leisure activities and vacations. Moreover, they have to postpone major purchases or home improvements.

These family caregivers also make compromises with their savings and personal health care.


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