Care for the elderly provided by family and friends costs $522 billion each year, a new study by the RAND Corporation found. The results of this and similar studies show the economic impact of informal caregiving. “Our findings explain the interest in workplace flexibility policies being considered by a number of states that provide paid time off from work for caregivers as well as programs such as Medicaid’s Cash and Counseling Program that allows family caregivers to be paid for their assistance”, said Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, a co-author of the RAND study.
As the American population continues to age with the retirement of baby boomers, the cost of providing informal care for the elderly will likely increase. Therefore, it is important for seniors and their loved ones to explore family caregiver agreements as well as estate and Medicaid planning options as they think about the possibility of long-term care.