Family Caregiving Costs Exceed Wal-Mart Revenues

If you were to put a price on caring for a parent or loved one, could you? Factor in time invested, gas used driving to the doctor’s and toll on your mental and/or physical well-being for starters.

We understand that looking after your parents is a privilege that is a part of life but AARP wanted to put a price tag on the cost of your care.

The result? Just around $450 BILLION in 2009, which is more than Wal-Mart’s annual sales for the same year. That’s a lot of mark-downs, folks. And it’s a 21 percent increase ($75 billion more) from our last study in 2007.

Approximately 62 million (or one of four) Americans provided care to a loved one in 2009.  Who are these caregivers? Well:

  • ∙  The “average” caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who works outside the home.
  • ∙  She spends nearly 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother over the course of nearly five years.
  • ∙  Almost two-thirds of family caregivers are women.
  • ∙  More than eight in 10 are caring for a relative or friend age 50 or older.
  • ∙  Caregivers in the U.S. just about equal the combined population of California and Texas.

By the way, this is $450 billion in uncompensated care.

Read the report here. The AARP Bulletin has a news story. And be sure to visit our Caregiving Resource Center.