The Cost of Caregiving

If you have been a caregiver for a child, spouse, partner, or parent, you know first-hand that it can strain not only your emotional and physical energy but your pocketbook as well. We hear from many booksellers and comic retailers who are struggling with their family life and their job, while also being the primary caregiver for a loved one. The direct and indirect expenses add up and can become a financial hardship before a caregiver is even aware it’s happening.

Caregiving can affect your personal finances. According to an article in the AARP Bulletin (Nov. 2019), the unexpected costs for a caregiver is an average of $7,000 per year. To a bookseller on a tight budget, this is a huge amount. These expenses add up as caregivers use their own funds to pay for medical supplies, household, and personal items, travel expenses, and legal fees.

Caregiving can affect your health. With their plate full with the responsibilities of caregiving, home, and work, caregivers are more apt to ignore their own personal health issues. Getting less sleep, skipping doctor and dentist visits, postponing tests and treatments are all common when someone is caring for a loved one.

Caregiving can affect your job. It is hard to focus on your job (even a job you love) while constantly worrying about a loved one’s care and safety. Some booksellers are even forced to consider leaving their bookselling job, further jeopardizing their own well-being and financial position.

  • In a 2016 Binc sponsored survey, booksellers pointed out the need for help with childcare and eldercare. Specifically noted, was the need for assistance paying for personal household bills when taking time off work to care for a loved one. Booksellers fall into debt to pay their own household bills while caring for others.
  • In answer to this need, Binc added a Qualifying Event for Loss of Household Income due to Childcare/Eldercare. To date, Binc has distributed $38,291 to help booksellers taking care of their loved ones.

Caregivers can get help. There are some important things that caregivers can do to reduce their stress and financial burden.

  • Ask for help from friends and family. You are part of a larger community and people naturally want to help.
  • Look for a support group through a local church or community center. You can learn a lot from others in the same situation.
  • Make time for yourself. This may feel impossible, but it is more difficult to care for others if you are not physically and emotionally healthy yourself.
  • The Family Caregiver Alliance provides information on a wide array of topics and even has a state by state resource directory.
  • Check Binc’s Resource Directory for additional resources on caregiving and a variety of other topics.
  • If caregiving is causing financial hardship for your household, contact Binc.
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