In general, Latino families are always in the habit of taking care of their elderly relatives. Taking them to a nursing home is a last resort option only when the father, mother, or grandparents already need specialized care.
But that dedication to keeping the family together and whole is taking a heavy toll on our community.
According to research by the nonprofit AARP, family caregivers spend an average of $ 7,200 or more a year — or 26% of their income.
What’s more, nearly 8 in 10 of those who care for an adult relative (78%) regularly face out-of-pocket expenses, with the highest burden falling on younger caregivers and Hispanics and African Americans.
Latinos spent an average of 47% of household income caring for a relative, while the figure for African Americans was 34%. In 2018, there were about 10 million “millennials,” between the ages of 18 and 34, as primary caregivers of an adult in their homes, of whom 27% were Hispanic.
And as if that weren’t enough, people caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease / dementia or mental health issues tend to spend more ($ 8,978 a year and $ 8,384 a year, respectively) than caregivers without those. diseases.
The AARP survey finds that in addition to out-of-pocket expenses, caregivers are also experiencing indirect financial setbacks. Almost half of caregivers (47%) experienced at least one financial setback, such as having to cut their health care expenses, use their personal savings, or reduce how much they save for retirement
Faced with this picture of financial stress and sacrifices, a proposal to provide relief to these families has been submitted to Congress. The proposed Credit for Caring Act is designed to offer a tax credit of up to $ 5,000 to family caregivers who meet certain requirements.
Legislators have to hear the clamor of more than 110 organizations that have joined to support this initiative because they have seen first-hand the difficulties faced by families. We are currently talking about 48 million people who take good care of a family member or friend in the country.
In itself, seeing a loved one deteriorate is traumatizing, so it is not fair that this emotional load is also added a blow to the pocket. Caregivers need an immediate response to cope with the situation they are going through. Congress has to act as soon as possible.