For Immediate Release
Bonnie Lawrence, Family Caregiver Alliance
(415) 434-3388, Ext. 312 or
blawrence (at) caregiver.org
Deborah Halpern, National Family Caregivers Association
(773) 363-1587 or
dhalpern (at) thefamilycaregiver.org
FAMILY CAREGIVING VALUED AT $306 BILLION
Market Value of “Free” Services Jumps 19 Percent in 4 Years; California Caregivers Top Charts
Washington D.C.—November 9, 2006—The value of “free” services provided by family caregivers to their chronically ill, disabled or aged loved ones jumped to $306 billion—a 19% increase in the past four years—according to research by Peter S. Arno, PhD, a health economist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.
The state-by-state analysis of the number of family caregivers, hours of caregiving services and their estimated market value was released today by Family Caregiver Alliance and National Family Caregivers Association.
The largest caregiving states, according to the new analysis, are California, with an annual market value of over $36 billion, followed by Texas at $22 billion; New York at $20 billion; Florida at $19 billion; and Pennsylvania at $13 billion.
"Families are the mainstay of our long-term care system, with nearly 80 percent of long-term care provided in the home, not in institutions,” said Kathleen Kelly, Executive Director of Family Caregiver Alliance.
“That care includes everything from cooking meals to changing feeding tubes, from dispensing medications to managing incontinence. Were families to cease providing this care, the enormous burden placed on our healthcare system would be crippling. We need to respect and honor not only the staggering dollar value of the care these families provide, but also their dedication to the challenging and sometimes exhausting job of caring for their loved ones.”
Family caregivers provide a vast array of emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking and other services on a daily or intermittent basis. While some family caregivers provide 24/7 care for loved ones who require assistance for all daily living activities, others may provide care on a part-time basis. Family caregiving can extend for a few years or a lifetime.
“This state-by-state ranking of the value of family caregiving is critical information for policy makers, state service providers, and healthcare leaders. The numbers reinforce the need to develop programs and policies at all levels to educate and support family caregivers who are providing the bulk of long-term care services,” said Suzanne Mintz, president and co-founder of the National Family Caregivers Association. “These statistics are a powerful reminder of just how hard family caregivers are working and they raise serious questions for the future as the aging of the Baby Boom peaks.”
State-by-state data are available on the Family Caregiver Alliance website, at http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=1805. Data charts are also posted at: http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org/pdfs/State_Caregiving_Databyrank2006.pdf and http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org/pdfs/State_Caregiving_Databystate2006.pdf . For more information visit Family Caregiver Alliance at www.caregiver.org and National Family Caregivers Association at www.thefamilycaregiver.org.
About Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)
Established in 1977, Family Caregiver Alliance is one of the largest and oldest organizations in the US devoted solely to caregivers. Its pioneering programs—information, education, services, research and advocacy—support and sustain the important work of families and friends caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions. In addition to its local and statewide programs, FCA established the National Center on Caregiving to advance the development of caregiver programs in every state in the country. Visit www.caregiver.org or call (800) 445-8106 for more information.
About National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA)
The National Family Caregivers Association is dedicated to improving the overall quality of life of caregiving families and has championed family caregiving as a lifespan issue since its inception in 1993, addressing the common concerns of family caregivers that persist across the boundaries of diagnoses, relationships and life stages. Visit www.thefamilycaregiver.org or call (800) 896-3650 for more information.
November is National Family Caregivers Month!
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