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Additional Research Reports on Caregiving in the U.S.

Posted: September 1, 2015

The following excerpts are from the Caregiving Policy Digest (July 30, 2015 issue), published by the National Center on Caregiving.

Valuing the Invaluable 2015 Update: Undeniable Progress, but Big Gaps Remain

This AARP report indicates that approximately $470 billion of care, represented by 37 billion hours of care, is provided by family caregivers across the country. Along with updated national and state estimates of the economic value of family caregiving, the many challenges that family caregivers currently experience, key policy developments for family caregivers since the last Valuing the Invaluable 2011, and recommendations to better support caregiving families are detailed.

Caregiving in the U.S. 2015

This joint report between the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP demonstrates that the profile of family caregivers in America is changing as the population grows older, and addresses the following topics:

  • Higher-hour caregivers (21 hours or more of care per week)
  • Caregivers ages 75 and older
  • Multicultural caregivers
  • Challenges caregivers face in the workplace

The Impact of Informal Caregiving on Older Adults' Labor Supply and Economic Resources

  • The effect of informal caregiving on older adults' labor supply and economic resources is analyzed in this The Urban Institute-sponsored study
  • Although caregiving does not affect the wages or hours of workers, it reduces the likelihood of working.
  • Men who provide personal care to parents or intensive care to spouses are less likely to work, as are women who provide intensive care to parents.
  • As a result, over time, caregivers have a significantly higher probability of falling into poverty and also experience a smaller percentage growth in assets-particularly those who care for their spouses.

Informal Caregiving and Its Impact on Health: A Reappraisal from Population-Based Studies

  • Existing evidence on the health effects of caregiving, particularly a claim that family caregiving is associated with an increased risk for mortality, is re-examined in this Forum article.
  • The following methodological concerns are addressed:
    • The definition of caregiving
    • The composition of different caregiving subgroups
    • The sampling of caregivers
    • The sampling and recruitment of appropriate noncaregiving comparison groups
  • Contributing to a more updated and balanced portrayal of the health effects of caregiving in the research literature, lay media, and public policy realm are outlined as an essential goal