More than 12 million Americans—older and disabled adults and children—currently need assistance with eating, bathing, and managing medications. Much of the care needed by these individuals comes from family members, often at significant cost to their own health, career, and financial security.
In addition to the emotional and physical demands of caregiving, workforce productivity suffers as full-time workers often become full-time caregivers. By 2050, people needing help with basic activities will more than double in number, and the United States is woefully unprepared.
The caregiving system is fragmented, costly, and sometimes insufficient. Promising approaches to getting effective and affordable care to people in the setting they desire are being developed and tested, but they often focus on specific problems or populations, or can be hard to scale. A comprehensive approach is required across the caregiving landscape.
To help head off this looming crisis, RAND has launched the Caregiving Initiative. The initiative’s purpose is to take a comprehensive and integrative approach to caregiving by identifying, evaluating, and testing solutions across the caregiving landscape to determine how to best to meet the needs and improve the health and wellbeing of individuals who require care and support their families; increase access to and quality care; and reduce the economic burden associated with this care.