The Many Costs Of Elder Care

Jacki Lyden in for Tom Ashbrook

The emotional and financial costs of taking care of elderly parents.

An increasing number of Americans are staying in their homes as they age and receiving care from a mixture of professional and family caretakers. (AP)

An increasing number of Americans are staying in their homes as they age and receiving care from a mixture of professional and family caretakers. (AP)

A new report belies the notion that Americans ignore the aged–in fact, some 61 million Americans care for a relative.

And if you added up all that unpaid labor, it would exceed Walmart’s total sales: 450 billion dollars.

Caring for the elderly at home is the ‘new normal,’ says the AARP. And its having a deep impact on our lives, as Baby Boomers empty their savings, and the phone rings at work: and its Mom, again. For the sixth time that morning.

This hour On Point: the caregiver’s dilemma.

-Jacki Lyden


Susan Reinhard, senior vice president at AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) and director of their Public Policy Institute.

Eileen DeGaetano, a caregiver.

Christina Irving, social worker at the Family Caregiver Alliance in San Francisco.


You can find resources for caregivers here at

You can read the AARP report here.

AARP’s caregiver website is here.

Yet more resources for caregivers here at

From The Reading List:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 8, 2015
In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, local newspapers show stories about the controversial strategy to bail the government out of a financial hole, at a restaurant along Seven Mile Beach on the outskirts of George Town on the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands have lost some of their allure by abruptly proposing what amounts to an income tax on expatriate workers who have helped build the territory into one of the most famous or, for some people, notorious offshore banking centers that have tax advantages for foreign investment operations. (AP)

Trillions of dollars are now stashed in protected tax havens around the world, leaving societies’ bills to those at home. We’ll dig in.

Oct 8, 2015
US singer Patti Smith performs during the Way Out West music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, Saturday, Aug.15, 2015.  (AP)

Iconic rocker, poet of punk, and National Book Award-winning author Patti Smith joins us to talk about her new memoir, “M Train”.

Oct 7, 2015
Students in the new documentary film "Beyond Measure" take part in a project-based learning activity with their peers. (Courtesy the Filmmakers)

Arne Duncan’s headed out as U.S. Education Secretary. What’s next for America’s school kids?

Oct 7, 2015
The Doctors Without Borders trauma center is seen in flames, after explosions near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz. Doctors Without Borders announced that the death toll from the bombing of the group's Kunduz hospital compound has risen to at least 16, including 3 children and that tens are missing after the explosions that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike.  (AP)

The U.S. airstrike on the hospital in Kunduz. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan faces tough questions from Congress. We’re looking for what really happened.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Rep. Daniel Webster: ‘I’m Gonna Sell This Message’
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015

When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his retirement and resignation from his position last month, it surprised both his Party and the Washington political establishment.

More »
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »