Family Caregiving Valued at $350 Billion
The productivity losses to U.S. businesses associated with caregiving are up to $33 billion a year
The economic impact of informal caregiving on the U.S. economy is massive according to a recent AARP Public Policy Institute study, Valuing the Invaluable: A New Look at the Economic Value of Family Caregiving. The study found that the contributions of family caregivers often go unnoticed, but in fact, their contributions are the foundation of the nation's long-term care system with an estimated economic value of $350 billion in 2006.
"Family caregivers play a vital role and are the backbone for the long-term care network in this country," said AARP Director of Policy John Rother. "But the unpaid services they provide are not without costs. Lost time at work and reduced benefits adds to the emotional and physical strain of actually caring for a loved one."
The AARP study showed serious economic consequences for caregivers in the work force. As caregivers are forced to take time off and work partial days to care for their loved ones, the result is lower wages, a lack of job security, and loss or reduction of employment benefits like health insurance, retirement savings, and Social Security. And these losses come at a time when income and benefits are critical for the caregiver and their family.
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