Variation in cost of informal caregiving and formal-service use for people with Alzheimer's disease

Brooke S. Harrow, Diane F. Mahoney, Aaron B. Mendelsohn, Marcia G. Ory, David W. Coon, Steven H. Belle, Linda O. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


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 $23,436for informal care and $8,064 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 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-308
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Care recipient
  • Dementia
  • Economic burden
  • Geographic variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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