AARP Report: California Residents Provide $47B in Unpaid Care Annually
Californians provide about $47 billion worth of unpaid care annually to family members or friends with serious health conditions, according to a report from AARP, the San Francisco Business Times reports (Brown, San Francisco Business Times, 7/18).
The report found that in 2009, one in four U.S. residents -- or more than 40 million people -- cared for an adult family member, partner or friend who was chronically ill or had a disability.
The report estimated that the value of such unpaid work was about $450 billion for 2009, a 21% increase over the estimated $375 billion value of such work in 2007.
AARP noted that total federal and state contributions to Medicaid were about $361 billion in 2009 (Silverman, "The Juggle," Wall Street Journal, 7/18).
AARP estimated that if unpaid caregivers no longer were available, the U.S. health care and long-term care systems would see enormous cost increases (McKnight's Long-Term Care News and Assisted Living, 7/19).
Susan Reinhard -- senior vice president for public policy at AARP and one of the report's authors -- said the study underscores the importance of supporting caregivers' work and of providing them with appropriate training (Freeman, Naples Daily News, 7/18).
The report recommended that policymakers increase funding for the National Family Caregiver Support Program and develop new ways of approaching family care (San Francisco Business Times, 7/18).
On Monday, NPR's "Morning Edition" reported on the economic value of the work provided by unpaid caregivers (Ludden, "Morning Edition," NPR, 7/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.