Variation in cost of informal caregiving and formal-service use for people with Alzheimer's disease.
Additional Document Info
This study used a geographically diverse sample to estimate the total cost of informal care and formal services for community-residing Alzheimer's disease (AD) care recipients. Baseline data were used for 1200 family caregivers from the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH) study, a multisite intervention trial. The replacement-wage-rate approach estimated informal cost. Formal services were assigned a cost based on secondary sources. Annual cost per care recipient amounted to 23,436 dollars for informal care and 8064 dollars for formal services. Variation in informal cost was almost entirely due to instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) assistance. Cross-site differences in cost persisted after controlling for caregiver and care-recipient characteristics. Geographic variation may suggest regional preferences or ethnic/cultural values. Further study is needed to determine whether this reflects differences in access or availability or how including a control group for care recipients with nondementia diagnoses might have affected these findings.