How Much does Caregiving Cost?

Nearly Half of Family Caregivers Spend
Over $5,000 Per Year on Caregiving Costs

30% Spend More than $10,000 Per Year, 21% Don’t Know How Much They Spend

Caregiver Costs

San Mateo, CA; September 15 2014 — Almost half (46%) of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year on caregiving expenses, according to a new report. A family caregiver is defined as someone who takes care of a family member or friend, but is unpaid for their services. Their caregiving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for medications, medical bills, in-home care, nursing homes and more.

Of the 46% of family caregivers that spend more than $5,000 annually:

  • 16% spend from $5,000 to $9,999
  • 11% spend from $10,000 to $19,999
  • 7% spend $20,000 to $29,999
  • 5% spend $30,000 to $49,999
  • 7% spend $50,000 or more each year.

Thirty-two percent of family caregivers spend less than $5,000 per year, and 21% do not know how much they spend on caregiving each year.

“Caregiving can be a startlingly expensive endeavor that most people aren’t financially prepared for,” said CEO Andy Cohen. “But yet only three in 10 caregivers have spoken to their loved ones about how to pay for care. Having an open and honest conversation about finances is a sensitive, but necessary discussion to have.”

Caregiving not only has an effect on finances, but it can also impact current employment and future retirement plans, too. One-third of family caregivers (33%) spend more than 30 hours per week on caregiving, making it almost the equivalent of a full-time job. Half of caregivers have made changes to their work schedule to accommodate caregiving, while 30% often arrived late or left early and 17% missed a significant amount of work.

“Family caregivers, especially baby boomers, run the risk of derailing their retirement plans if they don’t prepare for the costs associated with caregiving,” said Cohen. “Almost half of caregivers spend $25,000 on caregiving in just five years – that’s a significant chunk of money that could delay retirement by a couple of years.”

Additional Findings:

  • For 43% of family caregivers, deciding on a senior care or senior housing option took only one month. But for 21% of caregivers, the decision process took six months or more.
  • 60% of caregivers say their caregiving duties have a negative effect on their job.
  • 54% of caregivers are caring for a parent or spouse/significant other.
  • 20% of people being cared for live in assisted-living center, nursing home or other living community.

More information about the survey results and resources to support family caregivers is available on here: Senior Care Cost Index 2014

Caregiver Costs

Where do YOU fit on this scale?

Methodology’s yearly Usage and Attitudes survey measures how family caregivers of older adults living in the U.S. hold up financially as they care for elder loved ones. From June 26 – July 20, 2014, Pretell Market Research conducted an online survey among users, and received responses from 1,345 family caregivers. No incentive was offered.


With more than two million visitors per month, San Mateo-based, a Bankrate company, is a leading senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses and other loved ones. provides helpful caregiving content, online support groups and a comprehensive Senior Care Directory for the United States, with nearly 62,000 consumer ratings and reviews and a toll-free senior living referral line (800) 325-8591.

Media Contact:

Caroline Farhat, Publicist, Bankrate, Inc., 917-368-8638



Related Infographics (3)

Unpaid Caregiving in America (AARP)

Text for Screen Readers: According to AARP, 43.5 million Americans are caregivers, and although they do it out of love and obligation, caring for a loved one takes a personal and financial toll. The economic impact is surprisingly high. It was over $480B/year in 2009, a figure that includes lost worker productivity, reduced earning capacity & retirement income, and increases in their own physical & emotional health and related costs. That’s about 3.2% of the U.S. GDP ($14.1 trillion in 2009). It’s more than the $361B in Medicaid spending. And it’s nearly as much as the $509B in 2009 Medicare spending. It’s also more than half of what we spend on defense. The burden is even worse for long-distance caregivers.

Stress of Family Caregiving

Text for Screen Readers:

  • 3/4 work outside the home
  • 40% work full-time
  • 1/3 are also raising children
  • 19 hours of care a week (average)
  • 55% feel overwhelmed by the care workload
  • 63% more likely to die within 4 years than similar non-caregivers
  • 30% don’t have family members to help them
  • 70% coordinate caregiving responsibilities with other family members
  • (from Philips and

Emotional and Financial Costs of Caregiving

Text for Screen Readers:

  • 69% say caring for a loved one is their #1 source of stress
  • 1 in 4 say family relationships have suffered
  • 27% are in sandwich generation, caring for children and aging parents
  • 3 in 5 share a home with the loved one they provide care for
  • 60% worry about the financial impact of caregiving
  • 3 in 4 had to change their job situation to accommodate caregiving
  • 75% say caregiving is a source of pride

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