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Burden on Family Caregivers

Family members and loved ones are on the front lines of caring for people with chronic health conditions. According to the National Long-Term Care Survey published by the Milbank Memorial Fund in 1994, almost 67% of elders relied solely on unpaid help — usually from a spouse or daughter. Seniors who cannot carry out basic activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating received some 120 million hours of unpaid help annually. If these services were reimbursed, estimated costs would run between $45 and $94 billion annually. These figures are daunting, and they do not include the cost of care for middle-aged or younger individuals who have special needs or chronic conditions.

For more information useful for caregivers, visit the American Medical Association Web site.

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