(WTNH) — Taking on the role of caregiver for a loved one is difficult enough, but many families found it became even harder amid the pandemic.
As Americans live longer, more and more people are finding themselves in the position of caring for loved ones. While it’s a job many people happily take on, most will admit, it’s not easy. Physically or financially.
“On average, about a quarter of a family’s household income goes toward caring for a loved one,” said Bill Sweeney, Senior VP of Government Affairs at AARP. “These are home modifications, building shower safety rails, putting a ramp up, mortgage or rent payments, or home health aides or anything else people are paying for out of pocket. It really adds up fast.”
Sweeney said on average, families are spending more than $7,000 per year on this kind of caregiving.
The pandemic only made things more difficult as helpful programs shut down.
“For a lot of families, they were using adult day centers or senior centers. Those were forced to close because of the pandemic, so that added a lot of time and pressure to folks.”
Sweeney said it’s having a long-term financial impact on families, but there are resources to help.
There’s legislation making its way through Congress to provide more financial help to caregivers. You can read about that and access other free resources for caregivers by visiting AARP’s website.