Caregiving is expected to increase by more than 20% in the next 15 years–and by 85% in the next 40 years

The demand for informal caregivers–family members, friends or neighbors–is expected to increase by more than 20% in the next 15 years–and by 85% in the next 40 years–as baby boomers age, from the Dept. Health and Human Services, states SmartMoney.com. Nearly 62 million Americans already care for another adult at least part-time, an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.

Caregivers who hire paid help spend an average of 24 hours each week on actual care, according to a 2007 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. And the 56% of caretakers who live in spend more than $4,500 per year on directly-related out-of-pocket expenses such as food, transportation and medication.

However, there are other difficult-to-detect costs with the role of caregivers i.e. 11% of caretakers say they "almost always" feel stressed at home compared to 7% of non-caregivers, according to a 2010 study of employees by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the MetLife Mature Market Institute. "The impacts can have a cascade effect" on a caregiver, says Marc Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist and the author of "How We Age." The stress and physical demands can bring about higher medical expenses and career roadblocks for anyone tending to another person.

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