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|Missed Career Opportunities and Strained Relationships Compound Financial Stress Associated with Long Term Care, Finds Genworth Study|
RICHMOND, Va., Oct 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Nearly half of family members serving as primary caregivers to loved ones have either lost a job or missed career opportunities as a result of their care giving responsibilities, finds a new study by Genworth Financial (Genworth). The study, Beyond Dollars: The True Impact of Long Term Caring, also found that more than four in ten primary caregivers experience an increase in stress with their spouse and nearly three in ten report stress with siblings. These are among several key findings of the study, which looks at the extent to which a long term care event impacts family members' careers, relationships, and savings and retirement contributions.
"Beyond Dollars is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, uncovering many of the often overlooked costs associated with a long term care event," said Colleen Goldhammer, senior vice president, financial institutions distribution, at Genworth. The findings demonstrate that the emotional, personal, and professional sacrifices associated with a long term care event can greatly compound the already considerable and growing costs imposed on family caregivers. For example, often the extended family of a care recipient must delay other important savings goals, such as contributing to a 401(k) plan or college fund, in order to help pay for the care of a loved one.
"Too often the cost of long term care is measured simply in dollar terms, not taking into account the many other ways that it can impact a family," said Ms. Goldhammer. "The most important step families can take to preserve their emotional and financial well-being is to engage in proactive discussions about long term care planning," she added.
The cost of long term care is rising steadily. According to Genworth's annual Cost of Care Survey, which in 2010 showed the hourly rate for licensed home care at $19 and the median daily rate for a private room in a nursing home at $206. The Beyond Dollars research builds upon this data by examining the emotional implications of a long term care event, and its equally disturbing effect on the broader well-being of the care recipient's extended family.
'Circle of Care': The Ripple Effects
The study also identifies the formation of a 'Circle of Care' consisting of a wide contingency of family members impacted by the caring needs of a loved one. The circle includes a 'Primary Caregiver,' who most often provides the majority of hands-on care in addition to providing significant financial support. The 'Secondary Caregiver,' is a family member who fully understands the dynamics of care, but who is typically not at the forefront of providing day-to-day support. The research shows that emotional and financial impact of long term care on these secondary caregivers can be substantial, and should not be underestimated.
This ripple effect trickles down to primary and secondary caregivers' families including siblings, spouses, children and in-laws. Couples in the Sandwich Generation, those who are caring for their aging parents while still supporting their own children, can feel twice the pressure when the aging parents of both spouses require long term care concurrently.
Beyond Dollars' findings revealed the impact of a long term care event can have a negative affect on the career trajectory of both Primary Caregivers and Secondary Caregivers, due to missed opportunities for advancement and fewer hours worked.
Savings and Retirement Contributions Impacted
A loved one's long term care needs often require both Primary Caregivers and Secondary Caregivers to sacrifice their own abilities to save for the future. Those indicating a reduction in their own savings also reported setbacks in terms of their ability to contribute to workplace retirement plans.
Family relationships often suffer as a result of a long term care event for both the Primary Caregiver and Secondary Caregiver.
Genworth believes that families benefit from being proactive about long term care planning. Genworth's "Let's Talk" campaign was developed to help families initiate conversations about long term care preferences, options, and strategies. The campaign's Web site, www.caringtalk.com, offers tips and advice on how to break the ice with family members, guidance from experts, helpful 'Do's and Don'ts,' and advice from people who have taken the important first step of discussing long term care with their own families.
Genworth's annual Cost of Care Survey, provides a snapshot of the cost of long term care in 436 regions nationwide, to help Americans plan for the potential costs associated with care in the home, a nursing home, an assisted living facility or adult day health care facility. "Beyond Dollars" serves as a useful complement to that study to ensure families have a holistic view of the costs and sacrifices associated with a long term care event.
About the "Beyond Dollars" Study
The study, conducted by Rockhopper Research during April 2010, included interviews with 818 U.S. consumers 25 years of age or older. Respondents either were recipients of long term care or had a family member that was a recipient of care greater than 30 days during the previous 12-month period. A complete copy of the study findings is available online at www.caringtalk.com.
About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 global financial security company. Genworth employs approximately 6,000 people with a presence in more than 25 countries. Its products and services help meet the investment, protection, retirement and lifestyle needs of more than 15 million customers. Genworth operates through three segments: Retirement and Protection, U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit Genworth.com. From time to time Genworth releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of Genworth.com.
SOURCE Genworth Financial