May 13, 2020
According to the 2019 AARP (American Association of Retired Person) report, as of 2017, there were 41 million family caregivers in the United States. Caregivers provided 34 billion hours of care, equaling $470 billion in economic value. In other words, the economic impact of family caregiving was more than total out-of-pocket spending on US health care in 2017 (which equaled $366 billion). Even though the economic value of family caregiving is huge, the work remains undetected and undervalued. People tend to take ‘caregiving family members’ for granted, and even assume it as an obligation. However, the tireless work of family caregiving should not be taken for granted.
As the number of family caregivers grows, more and more people are seeking help to release their physical and mental burden. Professionals are also trying hard to provide accessible and relevant resources to caregivers. The AARP website provides in depth information on family caregiving, from home care services to financial and legal help. The national Alzheimer’s Association and its local chapters help family caregivers through care consultations; the AA also runs community-based programs to increase engagement of those living with dementia. To support their mental well-being, caregivers can find local programs (i.e. a caregiver alliance) that are available listed on American Psychological Association website as well.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, caregivers have become much more anxious about what is the best option for their loved ones. Geriatric professionals try to discuss current caregiving issues that are related to COVID-19 crisis: the AARP suggests helpful ways to control caregivers’ stress from the pandemic. Moreover, since long-term care communities are hit hard by the virus, many major newsrooms has introduced essential tools to find a place for family caregivers.
For more resources regarding long-term care, please visit our Caregiver Resources page or access our VOYCE Consumer Resource Directory, available for purchase and immediate download. You can also contact VOYCEconnect at 314-919-2403 to discuss your needs with our resource coordinator.
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