More on Caregiving Costs and Toll

August 23, 2011
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The AARP Public Policy Institute has released a
The AARP Public Policy Institute has released a new paper updating the national and state estimates of the economic value of family caregiving.  
  • In 2009, about 42.1 million family caregivers in the U.S. provided care at any given point in time.
  • 61.6 million provided care at some time during the year.
  • The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $450 billion in 2009, up from an estimated $375 billion in 2007. 

The report also explains the contributions  of family caregivers, details the costs and consequences of providing family care, and provides policy recommendations to better support caregiving families.


In related news, a new Gallup poll shines light on the vast amount of time family caregivers spend each month caring for a loved one.
  • Researchers surveyed 2,805 adults, aged 18 and older, who self-identified as caregivers and were working at least 15 hours per week. 
  • Most respondents reported caring for someone 75 or older, and 72 percent of these caregivers were providing care for a parent. 
  • A majority of these caregivers did not live with the person to whom they provided care, but 66% of individuals not living with the person they cared for lived within 10 miles.
  • Caregiving is generally a long-term commitment and is often a major time commitment, with more than 19 days per month devoted to providing care. 
  • Thirteen of these days were spent with tasks such as shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and taking medicine.
  • Six of these days were spent assisting with personal tasks such as toilet visits, eating, dressing, grooming, and bathing. 
  • Caregivers also spent 13 hours per month coordinating physician visits, managing financial matters, and researching care services for their loved one and an average of 5 hours per day in which they provide care devoted to companionship.