The number of Americans needing nursing home care is expected to increase to 27 million people in the next 30 years. Now that the average cost of a nursing home stay is nearly $85,000 a year, more families are caring for loved ones at home.
Caregivers are putting their own health at risk, in order to help others.
Many families are doing everything they can to keep loved ones out of nursing homes, and in their own homes.
There are 44 million US adults caring for an elderly or disabled person without pay. Studies show up to 70% of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression. caregivers are twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack, diabetes and arthritis compared to non-caregivers the same age.
Women who spend nine or more hours a week caring for a sick or disabled spouse double their risk of heart disease. There is support -- caregiver.org provides free online discussion groups for people to talk about the daily stress. Medicare.gov lists financial resources that could help caregivers get money for
prescriptions and other medical needs. At carecentral.com you can create a free private web page to stay connected to family and organize schedules and offers for help.
Studies estimate if we had to pay for the care many relatives are giving at home it would add up to 257 billion dollars per year.