Cost of Informal Caregiving for U.S. Elderly Is $522 Billion Annually
Oct 27, 2014
Informal caregiving remains a significant phenomenon in the United States with a high opportunity cost, although it remains more economical (in the aggregate) than skilled paid care.
New Estimates from the American Time Use Survey
Published in: HSR, Health Services Research, v. 50, no. 3, June 2015, p. 871-882
Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2014
OBJECTIVES: To provide nationally representative estimates of the opportunity costs of informal elder-care in the United States. DATA SOURCES: Data from the 2011 and 2012 American Time Use Survey. STUDY DESIGN: Wage is used as the measure of an individual's value of time (opportunity cost), with wages being imputed for nonworking individuals using a selection-corrected regression methodology. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The total opportunity costs of informal elder-care amount to $522 billion annually, while the costs of replacing this care by unskilled and skilled paid care are $221 billion and $642 billion, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Informal caregiving remains a significant phenomenon in the United States with a high opportunity cost, although it remains more economical (in the aggregate) than skilled paid care.
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