The Costs of Caregiving

By Scott LaFee

November 21, 2018 5 min read

A new national poll reveals what many already know: caregiving costs, in time, money and health. According to the poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 1 in 3 caregivers in the U.S. forgo personal medical needs to care for family and friends.

Four out of 5 caregivers spend their own money on caregiving-associated costs, with 13 percent spending $500 or more per month out-of-pocket.

Twenty-five percent of caregivers have reduced their retirement savings to cover caregiving costs; more than 40 percent have dipped into personal savings. One-quarter of caregivers spend roughly the same amount of time caregiving each week as they would at a full-time job; 45 percent of those with jobs and caregiving duties use their vacation time for the latter.

An estimated 40 percent of Americans have experience caregiving. There are an estimated 40 million current caregivers in the U.S.; one-quarter of them are between the ages of 18 and 39.

Body of Knowledge

Dust in the windpipe: The average person can expect to breathe in at least 45 pounds of dust over his or her lifetime.

Get Me That, Stat!

Suicide attempts are six times more common among transgender youth than heterosexual peers, according to a new review of data compiled from 35 different studies.


20: Percentage of practicing oncologists in 50 metropolitan areas surveyed who were over the age of 65, suggesting a looming shortage of cancer specialists

Source: Doximity

Doc Talk

Acute lead poisoning: gunshot wound

Mania of the Week

Onychotillomania: compulsive picking of fingernails

Number Cruncher

A chicken soft taco from Taco Bell (92 grams) contains 160 calories, 45 from fat. It has 5 grams of total fat, or 8 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet, according to the Calorie Count database.

It also contains 25 milligrams of cholesterol (8 percent); 480 milligrams of sodium (20 percent); 16 grams of total carbohydrates (5 percent); 2 grams of dietary fiber (8 percent); 1 gram of sugar; and 12 grams of protein.

Never Say "Diet"

The Major League Eating record for brats (sausages) is 65 1/2 in 10 minutes, held by Joey Chestnut. Chestnut, who also holds the record for most hot dogs consumed in same amount of time (74), gives new meaning to the words "brat packed."

Best medicine

Patient: "I have CDO."

Doctor: "CDO? I've never heard of it. What is it?"

Patient: "It's like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order, the way they should be."


"I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren't in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets." — Singer Dolly Parton

Medical History

This week in 1985, a successful heart transplant to a 4-day-old infant, Eddie Anguiano, known then as Baby Moses, was performed by Dr. Leonard Lee Bailey of the Loma Linda University Medical Center. Eddie had been born with a fatal heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome and had only days to live. Luckily, the heart of a brain-dead baby became available. Eddie's transplant was the third such attempt. The previous two were unsuccessful, but Eddie thrived.


Q: Do feet really get bigger with age?

A: Quite possibly, yes, but not due to growth (at least not past a certain age). Over time, the tendons and ligaments in your feet may weaken, causing arches to flatten. That results in feet becoming wider and longer. It doesn't happen to everyone, but folks who are overweight or have certain conditions like diabetes are more prone. The average gain is roughly one shoe size by age 70 or 80.


"Never born, never died. Visited the planet earth between December 11, 1931 and January 19, 1990." — Indian mystic and guru Chandra Mohan Jain, otherwise known as Acharya Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Osho. Famously founded Oregon commune in the 1980s. Believed in the possibility of a permanent state of "superconsciousness."

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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