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Family Caregivers Need Paid Caregivers to Ease the Burden

Home care workers, clients, and their family caregivers can work together to create the best care approach possible.

THE PROBLEM

Home care workers and family caregivers often work together to support older adults and people with disabilities, allowing them to remain in their homes and communities. The two complement each other—when family caregivers are not able to provide all the care their loved ones require, home care workers often fill in the gaps to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities receive the support they need. A home care worker can also be a central part of the care team, working with clients and families to deliver the best care possible. Unfortunately, the cost of hiring a home care worker is often out of reach for many families—without financial assistance, family caregivers are increasingly strained to provide this care alone, incurring significant out-of-pocket costs and toiling with the physical and emotional pressures associated with caregiving.[1] In addition, many family caregivers reduce their work hours or even quit their jobs to take care of relatives.

PROMISING DEVELOPMENTS

As one approach, PHI supports the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, a federal effort to establish a national strategy for family caregivers. We also urge federal leaders to support training initiatives, research, and other innovations that promote a holistic approach to care management among home care workers, their clients, and family caregivers.

Sources

  1. AARP. 2016. Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs: 2016 Report. Washington, DC: AARP.

Key Takeaways

Home care workers and family caregivers working together means better care for older adults and people with disabilities.
We need more interventions that effectively pair workers and family members to optimize care.
Together, the 40 million family caregivers and 4.4 million direct care workers in the U.S. form our nation’s caregiving infrastructure.
 

By the Numbers: Family Caregiving

40 million

Number of unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. Source: AARP, 2016

20%

Average percentage of annual income that unpaid family caregivers spend on out-of-pocket caregiving costs. Source: AARP, 2016

44%

Average percentage of annual income that unpaid family caregivers who are Hispanic/Latino and low-income spend on out-of-pocket caregiving costs. Source: AARP, 2016

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