How costly is it to care for disabled elders in a community setting?

B S Harrow, S L Tennstedt, J B McKinlay
Gerontologist 1995, 35 (6): 803-13
This article describes the total cost of care, including both informal caregiving and formal services for a cohort of disabled elderly living in the community. The cost of informal caregiving hours was calculated using a market value approach. The total annual cost of caring was estimated to be $9,600. Increased disability was associated with increased costs. High-cost elders were more likely to be severely disabled, live with their caregiver, and become institutionalized. For most elders, even the cost of a complete substitution of informal care for formal services, plus living expenses, was less costly than nursing home care.

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