My last post discussed the Collaborative’s findings about the cost of long term care to the elderly. This post will touch upon the Collaborative’s findings about the cost on third parties.
Cost to Family and Friends:
In addition to the financial stress this places on the elderly and disabled, it also significantly affects their families. The Collaborative estimates that in 2013, family and friends provided 37 billion hours of uncompensated LTSS to adults. This care calculates to up to $470 billion, which is three times the amount Medicaid spent on LTSS the same year.
When family members provide caregiving to a loved one, it often comes at the cost of their job or a portion of their job. On average, the Collaborative reports, a woman in her 50s who leaves a job to care for her aging parents does so at a cost of $300,000 of income over her lifetime. The Collaborative states that “unpaid family caregivers lose an estimated $3 trillion in lost lifetime wages and benefits.”
Cost to Employers of Family and Friends:
The Collaborative reports that employers experience a loss of $17.1 to $33 billion in productivity due to absenteeism alone. In addition, they state that “costs of turnover and schedule adjustments for caregiving workers add an additional $17.7 billion in costs.”
My next post will discuss the Collaborative’s recommendations to address the daunting cost of long term care. Time will tell if state and federal political leaders will propose legislation to advance some of the Collaborative’s recommendations, but it is hard to see any meaningful legislation coming out of Washington in the near future. That is disappointing, but it only serves to emphasize the importance of planning by individuals and families. Start your plan now by calling 502-509-4635 or sending an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.