57% of US family caregivers provide financial support to loved ones despite limited resources

Categories: Care.

The survey, ‘A Picture of Higher-Burden Caregiving’, focuses on people caring for Medicare beneficiaries with complex health care needs – it underscores the growing challenges caregivers face as the nation’s Medicare population grows.  

The findings suggest that 75 percent of people caring for Medicare beneficiaries with complex health care needs have an annual income of less than $25,000, yet a majority (57 percent) provide financial support to their loved one. The affordability of health care services was the top health care issue among surveyed caregivers. 

Financial worries, diabetes care and care coordination are among the greatest challenges facing those caregivers who are responsible for a range of activities associated with their loved ones care over a prolonged period of time.

The majority of caregivers surveyed (70 percent) provide care for Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes. Among the survey population, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses drive a higher need for caregiver involvement compared with other chronic conditions such as arthritis and physical disabilities. In addition, chronic conditions and concern over personal health are prevalent among survey respondents.  

Further findings include:         

  • caregivers indicated that managing diabetes was the second-largest health challenge they face
  • respondents cited their loved one’s mental state including depression as the third-largest challenge they face in caring for their loved one.    

The role of care coordinator is a significant burden. The survey found that 73 percent of respondents provide care coordination, and 65 percent expressed concern about care planning and coordination of care. Respondents reported conducting both medical and non-medical support activities, including transportation, medication management, nutritional support, physical support and managing finances.

Commenting on the report, John Schall, CEO, of the National Family Caregivers Association, said “As the chronically ill Medicare population continues to grow at a rapid pace, we need to identify ways to support the family caregivers that are critical to maintaining their loved one’s health. This survey helps spotlight the issues caregivers are facing and the importance of considering the unique demands associated with higher-needs caregiving.”

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