Unpaid Family Caregivers Adversely Impact Quality of Long-Term Care

Read Time: 4:16
Published: Dec 29th, 2016
Unpaid Family Caregivers Adversely Impact Quality of Long-Term Care
Article Updated:May 18th, 2021

Too many caregivers providing help for a person requiring long-term health care are not qualified to provide that help. Many of these caregivers are unpaid family members. Taking on a caregiver's role creates an additional burden on that person as it impacts their lifestyle and family, finances, and health.  Their lack of training also places the care recipient in danger, not to mention the stress and anxiety the caregiver must face themselves. 

The role of being a family caregiver is physically and emotionally draining. These family members must juggle their careers, families, and caregiving responsibilities. However, unpaid caregivers are performing about 80 percent of the care provided at home. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, long-term care services includes an array of emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking, and other services.

Helping a person with their medications can be challenging. Sometimes an untrained caregiver will mix up medicines, which could cause significant health issues. Professionals will often have problems making sure the proper medications are administered at the right times. Those with little or no training place the care recipient at significant health risk. 

The AARP says more than three-quarters of caregivers help loved ones to fill and manage medications that often require juggling varying dosages for pills that can appear identical. Many untrained caregivers are family members, usually a daughter or daughter-in-law. For them, it is more demanding as they are part of the sandwich generation. 

Sandwich Generation 

The Sandwich Generation are those caregivers who have a spouse, children, a job and provide caregiving services for a parent or other family member. These caregivers face tremendous stress and pressure filling all those roles.

New research reveals that the number of unpaid caregivers in the United States in 2020 grew by 9.5 million over the past five years to a total of 53 million. These unpaid caregivers are taking care of older adults with multiple chronic conditions. Traditionally, caregiving involved helping a person with basic daily activities. But the work has grown more demanding. They perform routine nursing work such as draining catheters. Caregivers also help loved ones navigate the healthcare system. 

The skills required to help a person bathe and perform other daily living activities require experience and expertise. Otherwise, they could hurt themselves or the person they are trying to help. 

Caregiving Places Stress and Burden on The Caregiver and their Family

Most family caregivers are untrained and unprepared for the role of being a caregiver. The role of a caregiver creates a significant burden on everyone. A recent article in Modern Healthcare says the economic value of caregiving, which ranges from short-term post-acute assistance to long-term care, was estimated at $470 billion in 2013. In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimated, family members provided 55% of the value of long-term elderly care services, or $234 billion a year. 

"Despite the value of their work, these unpaid caregivers often lack the skills and support needed to properly care for their loved ones. And as the medical complexity of patient cases escalates, so do concerns about safety," wrote Elizabeth Whitman in her this article. 

LTC Insurance is a Solution

An answer for many is to plan before any caregiving is required. First, understand the risk of needing long-term health care is high. As medical science gets better, we live longer. The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact your savings and create physical, emotional, and financial burdens on loved ones. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide the resources for quality caregivers and reduce the burden placed on the family. 

Experts say the best time to plan is well before retirement. As you are saving money in your 401k and IRA finding a way to protect the money and have a plan to reduce the family burden is perhaps common sense ... but the main fail to plan until it is too late. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says there is a significant risk of needing some form of long-term care before once you reach age 65. The fact is it can and may happen to you. A plan to address this risk should be part of your overall retirement planning.

Preparing for the financial costs and burdens of aging is an essential part of a retirement plan. For many Americans, an affordable LTC Insurance policy will provide the tax-free resources to pay for your care choice at home or in a facility. 

Choice of Quality Care and Asset Protection

The policy will safeguard your income and assets as it reduces the stress and burdens otherwise placed on the people you love. Will you need long-term care in the future? Nobody can be certain, but think about how your health and body has changed in the past 20 years. Now, think about how your health, body, and mind will change in the 20+ years.

You should see the wisdom in addressing extended care. Since these policies are medically underwritten, be sure to start your research in your 40s or 50s when you still enjoy good health and premiums are low.

About the Author

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

Editor's Note

There are several resources available on LTC NEWS that will help you learn about your options to plan for the financial costs and burdens of aging. Your body, health, and mind will change in the next 20+ years. Consider the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that are placed on you and your loved ones as you get older.

LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator 

Use the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator and find both the current and future cost of care services where you live. Click here and see the financial impact. 

Caregiving is hard on family members and paid care is expensive. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides the tax-free resources to pay for your choice of quality care in your home or in a facility.

Be sure to seek the right type of professional help. Experts say to avoid using a financial advisor or general insurance agent. They often lack the experience and knowledge in policy features, underwriting, tax advantages, and other factors. Since premiums can vary by over 100% between insurance companies, you need a skilled and trusted professional.

A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will help you navigate the options and find the best coverage at the best value. Discover your trusted pro by clicking here.

Become a Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS

You can write for LTC NEWS. Gain exposure for yourself, drive traffic to your website or blog, and improve your SEO.

 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.

Write a story for publication on LTC NEWS and let America hear what you have to say. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.

Topics can include stories on:

  • Aging
  • Caregiving
  • Health
  • Long-Term Care
  • Retirement Planning

There are numerous other related topics, as well. You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. It must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com or click here

Advertising and Marketing Opportunities on LTC NEWS

You can write for LTC NEWS. Gain exposure for yourself, drive traffic to your website or blog and improve your SEO.

Reach an educated audience. Readers of LTC NEWS are researching retirement issues, including aging, health, caregiving, and long-term care. Other readers seek information for a parent or other loved one who is experiencing declining health or aging issues and require extended care.   

Many marketing opportunities are available, including sponsored content articles. Sponsored content offers you a long-form way to sell yourself, your company, and your ideas.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - click here.

Share News with LTC NEWS

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email -  newsroom@ltcnews.com 

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.

Work With a Long-Term Care Specialist
Work With a Trusted Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist
  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • A Strong understanding in underwriting, policy design, and claims experience.
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies.
Find a Trusted Specialist
Table of Contents
Connect With a Long-Term Care Specialist

Find Affordable Insurance and the Right Coverage.

LTC News Trusted & Verified
Learn More
Search Results