Background: Cost of informal care constitutes an important component of total dementia care cost. It also reflects resource utilization by patients and caregivers. We aim to quantify the informal cost of care for mild to moderate dementia patients.
Methods: We recruited 165 patient–caregiver dyads with mild to moderate dementia. Informal care burden was assessed using the Resource Utilization in Dementia (RUD)-Lite instrument. A generalized linear model was fitted for association between cost of informal care and cognitive impairment, taking into account patient demographics, disease factors, and use of paid domestic help. Marginal estimates were obtained from the model for the purpose of illustration and discussion.
Results: Total hours of informal care by primary caregiver doubled in moderate dementia patients, with 57.9% having paid domestic help to assist in care. Functional factors and use of paid domestic help were significantly associated with informal care costs. Costs were consistently higher for patients without paid domestic help for mild- and moderate dementia.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the informal care costs of caring for mild–moderate dementia patients in Singapore, with the unique cost savings provided by live-in paid domestic help, and potentially may aid policy-makers in allocation of resources and support to caregivers.