Information on Family Caregivers
In July 2006, The MetLife Mature Market Institute® joined with the National Alliance for Caregiving to publish this report. Every year US businesses’ incur $17-$34 billion in productivity losses as a result of their employees’ family caregiving responsibilities. Annual costs are associated with replacing employees, absenteeism, workday interruptions, and shifts from full- to part-time work.
In July 2010, The MetLife Mature Market Institute® joined with the National Alliance for Caregiving to publish this report. Employees responsible for eldercare report more health problems than non-caregiving employees and cost U.S. employers an estimated $13 billion annually. Demographic trends indicate that a greater number of employees of all ages will assume the role of family caregiver for an increasingly older population. In combination, these trends mean that more employees will be dealing with eldercare issues. This brings to the forefront an urgent need for employers to actively address how to best facilitate the realities of employees dealing with eldercare responsibilities.
In July 2011, The MetLife Mature Market Institute® joined with the National Alliance for Caregiving to publish this report. Nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 care for their aging parents. These family caregivers are themselves aging as well as providing care at a time when they also need to be planning and saving for their own retirement. The study is an updated, national look at adult children who work and care for their parents and the impact of caregiving on their earnings and lifetime wealth.
AARP’s Public Policy Institute makes the business case for recognizing and responding to the concerns of family caregivers, highlighting the magnitude of their unpaid contributions to the nation’s long term care system and the US economy. They urge employers to implement “family-friendly” workplace policies that include flextime and telecommuting, referral to supportive services, and caregiver support programs in the workplace. Their bottom line: Adequate funding for family caregiver support will provide an excellent return on investment.
AARP’s Public Policy Institute updates its initial report on the economic value of unreimbursed health and long-term care provided by family caregivers in the US. The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions is approximately $375 billion for 2007, up from an estimated $350 billion in 2006. It also describes how these caregivers improve the quality of care, while reducing the use of costly nursing home and hospital-based care.
AARP’s Public Policy Institute updates its ongoing reports on the economic value of unreimbursed health and long-term care provided by family caregivers in the US. In 2013, about 40 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated 37 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities. The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $470 billion in 2013, up from an estimated $450 billion in 2009.
In 2014, the AARP Public Policy Institute published this Fact Sheet that describes a changing workforce placing growing demands of family caregivers. These demands include pursuing a career, caring for family members, helping adult children, and preparing for retirement security— often simultaneously. However, US public and private sector policies to support workers with caregiving responsibilities have not kept up with these increasing demands.
Conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving, in conjunction with the AARP Public Policy Institute, this report of interviews with family caregivers present a clear picture of caregiving today: prevalence, key demographics, the caregiving situation, as well as the challenges, needs and impact of caregiving on work, home and health of caregivers.
Released in 2016, the Institute of Medicine reports that the increasing demand for family caregivers for adults who are 65 or older is increasing significantly. Family caregivers need more recognition, information, and support to fulfill their responsibilities and maintain their own health, financial security, and well-being. Although caregivers’ individual circumstances vary, family caregiving can negatively affect caregivers’ mental and physical health as well cause economic harm, including loss of income and career opportunities. The report calls for health care delivery system reform that elevates family-centered care alongside person-centered care to better account for the roles of family caregivers and support their involvement in the care delivery process.
Information on Professional Caregivers
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation describes the critical importance of nurse retention as the US population and the nursing workforce are simultaneously aging. Health care organizations can keep more veteran nurses at patient bedsides by implementing a variety of employee-retention strategies outlined in this white paper.
Co-authors Kristin Smith and Reagan Baughman provide an economic and demographic profile of America’s low-wage, high-turnover direct-care workforce. As families, healthcare organizations and society seek to meet the growing demand for long-term care by our aging population, these workers will become increasingly important. Direct-care workers are the fastest growing occupation in the country and will soon surpass registered nurses as the largest group of health care providers.
In 2008 the Institute of Medicine addressed an impending American health care crisis. It is driven by the number of older patients with more complex health needs increasingly outpacing the number of health care providers with the knowledge and skills to adequately care for them. Bold new health care workforce initiatives were recommended.
The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
In 2010, the Institute of Medicine again focused on the health care workforce. This study recognized that a number of barriers prevent nurses from being able to respond effectively to rapidly changing health care settings and an evolving health care system. These barriers need to be overcome to ensure that nurses are well- positioned to lead change and advance health of the US public.
In 2015, the Institute of Medicine assessed progress on its 2010 Future of Nursing report. Read the update here.
PHI Fact Sheets
A series of short issue briefs and fact sheets on the national and regional status of the direct-care workforce is published by Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI).
- Older Direct-Care Workers (April 2010)
The US direct-care workforce is aging along with the nursing workforce and the overall population. View the Fact Sheet
- America’s Direct-Care Workforce (November 2013)
Direct-care workers provide an estimated 70 to 80 percent of the paid hands-on long-term care and personal assistance received by the elderly, disabled or those with other chronic conditions.
View the Fact Sheet
- US Home Care Workers: Key Facts (September 2016)
Projected rapid growth, low wages and the emerging care gap are highlighted.
View the Fact Sheet