New Study Shows Implications of Family Caregiving

Read Time: 6:54
Published: Sep 26th, 2017
Impact of Family Caregiving
Article Updated:October 23rd, 2020

American families are shouldering caregiving responsibility for elderly family members or loved ones with chronic health issues due to an illness, accident, or aging. The consequences are having a tremendous impact on loved ones.

A study conducted by the Transamerica Institute details caregiving's impact in a Long-Term Care situation and its implications on the caregivers. The Transamerica Institute is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to identifying, researching, and educating the public about retirement, health coverage, and other relevant financial issues facing Americans today.

This comprehensive study shows the vast majority (87%) of unpaid caregivers are family members. Among all caregivers, the population is split almost evenly with slightly more women (53 percent) than men (47 percent). Millennials (34 percent) and Baby Boomers (37 percent) are more likely to be caregivers than Generation X (22 percent). Fifty-one percent are employed either full-time or part-time.

Key Findings

  • 36% of them provide 100 or more hours of care per month
  • 32% of primary caregivers have been providing care for five or more years
  • 53% of primary caregivers are also employed full-or-part time
  • 21% say their health has declined since becoming a caregiver
  • 22% say their financial situation has worsened

While most caregivers tell researchers that their caregiving experience is positive and do it out of love, the real impact creates a tremendous burden on the caregiver and their family. 

Many caregivers are also holding down jobs, in addition to their caregiving duties. According to the study, being both a caregiver and handling formal career and family responsibilities requires a delicate balancing act. The survey examined how these caregiving duties may be negatively impacting their employment situation.

Caregivers Have Many Personal Responsibilities 

The majority of all caregivers are currently employed full or part-time (52 percent). Of the 40 percent of caregivers who are not presently employed, most (65 percent) were never employed during their time as caregivers. 

For those who were employed, the study shows that caregiving hurt their careers. As a result of their caregiving duties, 76 percent of employed caregivers have made some type of adjustment to their employment, ranging from using vacation and sick days to quitting their jobs altogether.

Role of Caregiver Has Adverse Effect on Career 

Twenty-six percent of employed caregivers have reduced their hours or job responsibilities due to their role as a caregiver. Some, however, had to leave their jobs, at least temporarily. Eighteen percent of employed caregivers have taken a leave of absence. Fourteen percent of employed caregivers have retired early or quit their job. 

Reducing hours or leaving their jobs creates financial challenges for the caregiver and the caregivers' families. In some cases their relationship with their employer changes.

Forty percent of all employed caregivers feel that their role as a caregiver has strained their relationship with their employer. Some have experienced adverse actions taken by their employer. Twenty-eight percent of caregivers who are employed or have been employed during their time as a caregiver has experienced adverse action(s) taken by their employer(s) as a result of their caregiving responsibilities.

Caregivers Face Many Difficulties

Being a caregiver has an impact well beyond the time their role as a caregiver ends. The caregivers' future retirement savings are often adversely impacted as eighteen percent of caregivers have taken some a loan or withdrawal from their retirement accounts due to their caregiving responsibilities.

For some, the caregiving experience created health issues for the caregiver. Approximately one in six caregivers (17 percent) indicate their general health has gotten worse/declined since becoming a caregiver.

See the full report by clicking here

Avoid a Family Crisis

Family caregivers face many feelings when forced into a caregiving situation. Without an advance plan, the family must face crisis management. Many family caregivers face high levels of anxiety, anger, and resentment.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are ways to cope. Click here for this helpful guide.

The report confirms what many people already know. The family will step in to be a caregiver in a long-term care situation if they must no matter what the impact it may have on their careers, health, and their own families. 

Caregiving is not easy and has a physical, emotional, and financial impact on the caregiver in many situations. Do you want to place this type of stress and burden on your family? 

Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits Families 

You can make your future aging easier on your loved ones by planning for the financial costs and burdens created by longevity. The solution is already helping many American families.  

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides the guaranteed tax-free resources to pay for quality caregivers in any setting – either at home, adult day care, assisted living, and memory care and nursing home. This allows family members the time to be family and not change the relationship from a loved one to a caregiver, which changes the dynamic of the relationship.

In addition, due to the results of the COVID-19 crisis, many families want to try to keep loved ones at home. Without professional help, the impact on family caregivers is enormous. 

Case Management Helps Loved Ones

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will also provide professional case management to help develop a plan of care and find care options so the family can concentrate on being loving and supporting. The best time to obtain coverage is before retirement, as you have the most available options and very affordable premiums.

People require long-term care services due to illness, accidents, and the impact of aging. The report shows the range of conditions:

Since the risk of needing long-term care is very high, having some plan to reduce the burdens and manage the costs of extended care costs becomes a vital part of a future retirement plan. 

There are three types of insurance products that address long-term care. 

Traditional LTC Insurance

These conventional type of insurance policies include partnership plans, which are available in 45 states. Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance provides additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection.  

Generally, the traditional policy provides the most long-term care benefits for the least cost. While most of these plans will not have death benefits, there are some plans with a return of premium option available at a higher cost. 

Asset-Based/Hybrid LTC Insurance

These policies combine life insurance or annuities with long-term care benefits. Often paid with a single premium, they offer death benefits if you never require long-term care services. While these types of policies are expensive, there can guarantee that the policyholder, or their heirs, will receive benefits from the policy.

Careful, some of these plans are really not long-term care plans. Be sure to speak with a specialist to find you an appropriate policy. 

Limited-Duration/Short-Term Care Insurance

These policies will usually pay for care for one or two years. They typically have less restrictive underwriting requirements. They are ideal for those you may be older but still enjoy independence or those you may be younger but have health issues that make it challenging to obtain conventional policies. 

This article reviews the various types of available plans.

Luckily, affordable options are available for most people. You work hard and save money for your future retirement. This effort will translate to a more enjoyable and worry-free retirement. Safeguarding your retirement savings (401(k) IRA 403(b) and other assets before you retire are crucial in addressing longevity risk and its impact on family and finances. 

Act Before You Retire With These Tools

Don't place the future responsibility of your future long-term care on those you love. Start your research before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s. Use the tools available on LTC NEWS. These tools include:

LTC NEWS cost of care calculator 

LTC NEWS Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance 

LTC NEWS Frequently Asked Questions 

Long-Term Care Glossary 

Be sure to get the help of a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you shop for the best coverage that matches your age, health, and concerns. Click here for a specialist. 

Your aging can be so much easier on everyone if you just plan ahead. Give yourself and your family peace-of-mind by adding a Long-Term Care Insurance policy to your retirement planning. 

 

About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

Editor's Note

LTC NEWS offers many resources to help families address the consequences of long-term care, aging, health, caregiving, and other retirement issues. You can be part of the effort to help educate consumers throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here.

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LTC News Contributor James Kelly
James Kelly

Contributor Since
August 21st, 2017

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

About the Author

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

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