Unpaid Caregiving Valued at $522 Billion Annually

A new study from the Rand Corporation, which aimed to discover the cost of informal caregiving in the United States by family and friends, which, the study found, is the number one source of long term eldercare. Here are some of their key findings:

  • Family members and friends spend an estimated 30 billion hours each year caring for the elderly.
  • The annual cost of this informal caregiving—measured by estimating income lost during the time that unpaid caregivers spend on eldercare—is $522 billion.
  • Replacing informal care with unskilled paid care at minimum wage would cost $221 billion a year; replacing it with skilled nursing care would cost $642 billion a year.

To put this mind-bogglingly large amount of money in context, $522 billion would buy you a fleet of 1,711 Airbus A380 jumbo jets, at $305 million a piece. 

 

To read the full Rand Corp. report: 

http://www.rand.org/news/press/2014/10/27.html

 

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Lucas Cohen

Smartstones, Inc., State St, Santa Barbara, CA, United States