62% of Family Caregivers Pay With Their Own Savings; 22% in Debt Because Of Alzheimer’s

San Mateo, CA; November 18, 2014 – Nearly half (42%) of family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia spend $20,000 or more per year on caregiving, according to a new Caring.com report. Caregiving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for assisted living, professional in-home caregivers, medications and medical bills, incontinence products, wandering products, transportation, and more.

Of the 42% of Alzheimer’s family caregivers that spend more than $20,000 annually, 33% spend a whopping $30,000 or more a year on Alzheimer’s caregiving. Only eight percent of Alzheimer’s family caregivers do not know how much they spend on caregiving.

A startling 62% of family caregivers are paying for Alzheimer’s care out of their own pockets. Other common ways to pay include:

  • 51% use their loved one’s savings
  • 42% use their loved one’s health plan
  • 33% use government benefits
  • 16% use a credit card
  • 10% use long-term care insurance

“The numbers are staggering,” said Caring.com CEO Andy Cohen. “More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to triple as the population continues to age. The majority of family caregivers care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s for at least a few years, with some even extending over a decade. For nearly half of caregivers, caring for Alzheimer’s could cost up to $100,000 or more over just five years.”

In fact, 22% of family caregivers say that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia has put them in debt. But Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving doesn’t just affect one’s bank account:

  • A stunning 97% of family caregivers say their personal (marriage and friendship) relationships have suffered or even ended as a result of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • 76% say their emotional well-being has declined as a result of Alzheimer’s or dementia caregiving, and 55% say their physical health has declined.
  • 56% of caregivers have had to quit their job or say their career has been negatively affected by their caregiving duties.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, both of which put caregiving on the top of people’s minds as they gather with family for the holidays.

“This is a good opportunity to talk to loved ones about future care, and for family caregivers to ask for and get support,” said Cohen. “As the numbers show, caring for Alzheimer’s is difficult on many levels, which is why it’s so important to have an open dialogue with trusted family and friends.”

Additional Findings:

  • Typically, family caregivers for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients spend more money and more time than other family caregivers.
  • 48% of family caregivers spend more than 20 hours per week on Alzheimer’s caregiving tasks, while 25% spend more than 40 hours per week.
  • More than 25% of family caregivers spend $1,000-$4,999 annually on Alzheimer’s medications alone.
  • Women continue to make up the majority of caregivers for Alzheimer’s and other dementia.


Caring.com’s Alzheimer’s family caregiving costs survey measures how family caregivers of older adults in the U.S. living with Alzheimer’s or dementia hold up financially as they care for those elder loved ones. From October 15 – November 10, 2014, Pretell Market Research conducted an online survey among Caring.com users, and received responses from 973 family caregivers caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. No incentive was offered.