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Dementia Puts Stress On Caregivers: Study

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Alzheimer’s disease is costlier than other disabling conditions, not only in terms of dollars of care but also in its impact on caregivers, a new MetLife study finds.

The dollar value of family caregiving for Alzheimer’s is 41% higher than for other disabling conditions, while Alzheimer’s caregivers report that caregiving has caused their health to worsen 45% more often than other caregivers, according to the study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

The study looked at more than 400 care recipients over age 65 from 8 different LTC insurance carriers. Among other findings:

Caregivers for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias provided an average of 47 hours of care per week, compared to 33 hours by caregivers for physically impaired individuals.

Compared to peers caring for people with purely physical impairments, caregivers of persons with dementia experienced more stress.

Almost 11% of spouses of Alzheimer’s victims or another dementia quit their jobs to provide care, compared to 4% of the other caregiving spouses.

For an individual with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder, the total average cost of services annually, considering paid and unpaid care, was $77,447, compared to $59,088 for a person with serious physical problems.

“Of the approximately 4.5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar disorder, more than two-thirds live at home cared for by family and friends,” said Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “That number is expected to triple by 2050 to 13.2 million.”


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