Caregivers spend more than $5,000 yearly, study finds

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Those who care for elderly loved ones spend an average of $5,531 a year on these labors, a new study finds. That amounts to $400 more than the average American household spends annually on healthcare and entertainment combined.

One in three respondents used some of their savings to cover the cost of caregiving and one-quarter said they had cut back on their own healthcare spending, according to Evercare, a healthcare coordination program, and the National Alliance for Caregiving, which released the study on Monday. The study included a telephone survey of 1,000 adults who cared for someone older than age 50.

Other findings: A total of 37% of respondents said they had quit their job or reduced their work hours to help loved ones. The most common caregiving expenses respondents cited were household goods, food and meals, followed by travel and transportation costs. Long-distance caregivers had the highest average annual expenses.