En español | WASHINGTON—Approximately 41 million unpaid family caregivers provided an estimated 34 billion hours of care — worth a staggering $470 billion — to their parents, spouses, partners, and friends in 2017, according to the latest report in AARP’s Valuing the Invaluable series. The report also explores the growing scope and complexity of caregiving, including an aging population, more family caregivers in the paid workforce, and the increasing amount of medical and nursing tasks entering the home.
“It’s encouraging to see greater recognition of the emotional, physical and financial struggles that caregivers face,” said Susan Reinhard, senior vice president, AARP Public Policy Institute. “But the demands on family caregivers are not just a family issue and we must continue to push for meaningful support and solutions.”
The total economic value of caregivers is more than:
- all out-of-pocket spending on U.S. health care ($366 billion in 2017).
- total spending from all sources of paid caregiving, otherwise known as Long-Term Services and Supports ($366 billion in 2016).
- the total combined value added to the U.S. economy by the education and arts/entertainment sectors ($460 billion in 2017).
The report offers recommendations to better support family caregivers, including developing a robust and comprehensive national strategy with the needs of an increasingly diverse caregiver population included; providing financial relief and expanding workplace policies; developing caregiver training programs; and expanding state and federal funding for respite programs.
To read the full report and methodology, visit: www.aarp.org/valuing.
Resources and information on family caregiving, including AARP’s Prepare to Care Guides, are available at www.aarp.org/caregiving.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.