Military families are being burdened by the high cost of elder care and are seeking financial advice to help provide this care, according to First Command’s Financial Behaviors Index.

The financial planning firm that focuses on military service members and federal employees found that 33 percent of middle-class military families (those with household incomes of at least $50,000) are currently providing elderly care. That’s up significantly from 13 percent in 2012.

The cost of providing care is proving to be sizable for many families, says First Command. Fifty-two percent of military families said the cost was more than they expected. The average monthly estimate for providing care was $1,467, the survey found.

“Military families are taking on caregiver roles at a growing rate and finding that the economic reality of this new responsibility is more taxing than they expected,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services.

The survey found that the majority of middle-class military families are seeking out specific financial planning advice related to the cost of elder care. The index revealed that 67 percent of the 530 families surveyed are planning ahead for these costs. This is up from just 16 percent in 2012. And half of those families are engaging with a financial advisor.

“These findings underscore the importance of seeking out meaningful financial planning support in advance of taking on the adding responsibility and expense of caring for an older family member,” said Spiker.