As part of ongoing research into public attitudes about long-term health care in the U.S., AP-NORC conducted the poll to learn more about the stresses and burdens caregivers experience as they help their disabled loved ones remain living in their homes and communities. In earlier research, AP-NORC learned that about 40 percent of Americans have experience providing long-term care to an older family member or friend.
The survey conducted in June and July polled 1,024 caregivers living throughout the U.S. and found these are some of the ways caregivers sacrifice to care for their loved ones:
- 25 percent have cut back on their retirement savings
- 41 percent have dipped into their personal savings
- 25 percent spend 40 hours per week caregiving
- 45 percent who have outside jobs use some or all of their vacation time for caregiving
The study also found that caregivers give up fun activities and time with friends and family to take care of loved ones.
In addition to many hours spent caring for loved ones, eight in 10 caregivers pay for expenses associated with that care, and many of them earn modest or low incomes, according to the research findings. The majority of the survey respondents earn less than $50,000 annually and more than 10 percent spend over $500 per month on caregiving costs. About two in 10 took on debt to cover these expenses.
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