Family Caregivers Considered Indispensable As America’s Elderly Population Increases.
The Wall Street Journal (6/3, Levitz, Subscription Publication) reported that advocates and lawmakers are seeking more ways to help millions of unpaid family members who allow many elderly Americans to age in place and reduce the strain on programs such as Medicaid. Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging at HHS, said, “Families have always been the backbone of our system for caring for people. … Really, if we didn’t have them, we couldn’t afford as a country to monetize their care and we couldn’t replace, frankly, the love they provide to family members.”
AARP estimates some 40 million caregivers in the US provided $470 billion worth of unpaid care to adults with illnesses in 2013.