Millions of Long-Distance Caregivers and Counting!

The National Institute on Aging estimates around 7 million Americans are long-distance caregivers. Aside from economic factors that often drive people far from their hometowns, shifting demographics in the country could exacerbate the issue: Over the next four decades, the share of people 65 and older is expected to rapidly expand while the number of people under 20 will roughly hold steady. That means there will be a far smaller share of people between 20 and 64, the age group that most often is faced with caregiving.

A November 2007 report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare, a division of United Health Group, found annual expenses incurred by long-distance caregivers averaged about $8,728, far more than caregivers who lived close to their loved one. Some also had to cut back on work hours, take on debt of their own and slash their personal spending.

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