Sunday, September 26, 2021


New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.


The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Report: Out-of-Pocket Expenses Squeezing Family Caregivers


Monday, July 5, 2021   

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Providing care for a loved one comes with a lot of stress. A new report said there's financial pressure too, especially when it comes to out-of-pocket expenses, and Iowa families are feeling that pinch.

Research from AARP showed nearly eight in ten of those caring for an adult family member face regular out-of-pocket expenses. Annual average spending accounts for 26% of the caregiver's income.

Dorothy Pisarski of West Des Moines said it is something her family experienced when her husband had a stroke more than a decade ago.

"It's just like a tornado in your house where everything gets swept up because of this," Pisarski explained. "It's time, it's money, it's stress."

Her husband's disability resulted in a significant loss of income, which left Pisarski to manage typical expenses, along with things like transportation to her husband's appointments, on a leaner budget.

There are an estimated 300,000 family caregivers in Iowa. Their advocates want Congress to approve a bill that offers tax credits of up to $5,000 to those eligible. The plan has bipartisan support, but some observers noted it excludes retired individuals providing care.

Brad Anderson, state director for AARP Iowa, said there needs to be a sense of urgency for Congress to act, and noted working caregivers are reaching a breaking point.

"Caregiving as we know is oftentimes considered a part-time job, and so you have people working two jobs essentially, but one of the jobs they're not getting paid for. And those folks need help," Anderson argued.

Pisarski also called on health-care providers to offer more affordable options for medication, and to speed up communication on rehabilitation recommendations. She asserted it would have eased the burden in the immediate aftermath of her husband's stroke.

"Even in visits, in short moments, that would have been helpful in making good use of time to help in his progress," Pisarski remarked.

Meanwhile, the report said the highest expense burden falls on younger caregivers and those who are African American, as well as Latino caregivers. Iowa's Joni Ernst is the lead sponsor of the Senate bill.

Disclosure: AARP Iowa contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Community Issues and Volunteering, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021