DETROIT – A new study shows a record 42 million Americans are serving as family caregivers and spending an average of 26 percent of household income taking care of loved ones.
Caring for family members has always been difficult. Since COVID-19, it has gotten exponentially harder with people caring for seniors and children while many work full-time.
The WHO reported on March 2 that the pandemic triggered a 25 percent increase in anxiety and depression worldwide. As the pandemic turns endemic, caregivers need relief.
Key Findings in Michigan:
- Multigenerational Households: 2.9 percent – No. 15 fewest in U.S.
- Cost to Hire Caregivers: $36,192 – No. 20 most expensive
- Nursing Shortage: 13,163 nursing care workers per 100,000 seniors – No. 14 worst
Key National Findings:
- Out-of-Pocket Costs: Family caregivers spend an average of 26 percent of household income and increases to 34 percent for African Americans and 47 percent for Latinos.
- 5 Most Expensive States to Hire Caregivers: The national average cost is $28,000, the five most expensive are Minnesota ($44,460), Washington ($42,956), Colorado ($41,808), California and New Hampshire are tied ($39,936)
- 5 States with the Most Multigenerational Homes: Hawaii (7.3 percent), California (5.8 percent), Texas (4.9 percent), Mississippi (4.7 percent), and Maryland (4.6 percent)..
4 Tips for Caregiver Fatigue:
- Consider Respite Care: Respite care can provide short-term care to give primary caretakers a break. Some senior communities offer short-term stays, which is a great way to “try out” senior living and there are organizations that provide respite grantsto help offset the cost.
- Take Advantage of Technology:Smart home devices make it simpler to keep an eye on elderly loved ones at home. Services such as UberEATS and Instacart can take important errands off your hands; Gogo Grandparent helps seniors use smartphone apps, like Lyft or Uber, without a smartphone; and apps such as Genie MD and Caregiving App are specifically designed to help caregivers keep track of tasks.
- Investigate Your State’s Medicare Offerings: Some states, like California, offer program’s like Medi-Cal’s In-Home Supportive Services. This program can help you pay for necessary care in your own home, like housekeeping, meal prep, laundry, and personal care like help with bathing and grooming.
- Ask for Help and be Specific: Most people want to help their friends and family but don’t know how. If you are overwhelmed, it is critical to ask for help. Determine what needs to be done and assign people specific tasks.