Caregivers

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Adults caring for elderly parents, parents caring for children with special needs, family members and friends caring for veterans: Americans spend billions of hours each year providing emotional and physical support to their loved ones. RAND research explores the effects of caregiving duties on these individuals, how policy addresses their needs, and the broader social and economic impact of caregiving on people, communities, and organizations.

  • Closeup of two peoples' hands holding each other, photo by Obencem/Getty Images

    Essay

    Giving Family Caregivers a Voice

    Mar 10, 2021

    One in every five American adults is caring for a loved one in need. Too often, they have to fight to make their voices heard in a health care system that doesn't always see them as the partners in care they can be. More could be done to integrate them into patients' health care teams.

  • Older man and woman sitting on a bench at an assisted living community, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Learning from Existing Novel Approaches to Solving the Adult Social Care Crisis Is Better Than Reinventing the Wheel

    Oct 14, 2020

    The growing gap in the UK between the need for social care for older people and the provision of support arises not only from a crisis of funding, but also from a failure to learn from what is already being done well. Closing the gap might be achieved by learning from creative approaches already being tried and then implementing them.

Explore Caregivers

  • A young woman cares for her elderly grandmother

    Research Brief

    The Cost of Elderly Caregiving

    Family members and friends spend 30 billion hours each year providing care for their elderly loved ones. These caregivers are giving up valuable time, either from their jobs or from other potentially productive activities. What is the annual price tag of this informal care—and how might it be offset?

    Jan 20, 2015

  • Grandparents teaching their grandson how to play Xiangqi, Chinese chess

    News Release

    China's Aging Population Poses Challenges, but Changes to Health and Migration Policies Can Help

    While the rapid aging of China's population is thought to condemn the nation to a dismal future, past policies on education and new policies to improve health and foster internal migration could ease the challenges posed by an older citizenry.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • A woman caring for her ill or injured husband

    Testimony

    Supporting Military and Veteran Caregivers Should Be a National Priority

    Honoring and serving our current and former members of the armed forces, particularly through periods of illness or when recovering from injuries, requires that we attend to their family members and friends who provide the care that is critical to keeping them alive and thriving.

    Dec 3, 2014

  • Military family walking on a path through the woods

    Commentary

    Honoring America's Veterans Requires Helping Their Families, Too

    This Veterans Day, the United States especially honors the millions of veterans living with service-related illnesses and injuries. But it's also important to recognize the sacrifices of those helping them to recover and thrive: America's 5.5 million military caregivers.

    Nov 11, 2014

  • Returning soldier with family

    Project

    RAND on Veterans' Issues

    RAND research explores key issues concerning military veterans, including health and well-being, education, employment and family issues.

    Nov 10, 2014

  • U.S. Army soldiers cheer as U.S. President Barack Obama signs H.R. 3230, the Veteran's Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014

    Blog

    Research Drives Ongoing Support for Veterans

    On November 11, we honor the service and sacrifices of America's veterans. But as they return home and adjust to civilian life, veterans and their families face new challenges and communities struggle to meet their unique needs. Rigorous research is essential to addressing these challenges and finding long-term solutions. RAND explores key issues concerning veterans such as employment, health and well-being, family support, and education.

    Nov 10, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Cost of Informal Caregiving for U.S. Elderly Is $522 Billion Annually

    The price tag for informal caregiving of elderly people by friends and relatives in the U.S. comes to $522 billion a year. Replacing that care with unskilled paid care at minimum wage would cost $221 billion, while replacing it with skilled nursing care would cost $642 billion annually.

    Oct 27, 2014

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Helping American Veterans and Their Caregivers

    In this podcast, Terri Tanielian offers policy recommendations designed to improve the lives of veterans, their caregivers, and their families.

    Sep 23, 2014

  • An elderly man getting served a meal by his daughter

    Commentary

    Meeting the Caregivers Challenge

    Ill or injured military personnel and veterans and people with dementia are unique populations, but they give us a preview of the enormous long-term care challenges Americans will face in the decades to come.

    Aug 25, 2014

  • A son, father, and grandfather fishing from a dock

    Commentary

    Demographics Add Urgency for Action on Dementia Long-Term Care

    Dementia takes a huge toll on those afflicted with it but also has major consequences for those who must care for them. More than 15 million Americans provide care for loved ones with dementia—tending to their daily, routine needs and ensuring their medical needs are met.

    Jul 28, 2014

  • Man in wheelchair with caregiver, sitting by a lake

    Commentary

    Parallel Caregiver Crises, Military and Civilian

    Among American caregivers, there are two expanding populations: those caring for military servicemembers struggling with physical or emotional wounds of war and those looking after people with dementia. Both face incalculable financial stresses and threats to their own health as a result of their caregiving roles.

    Jul 9, 2014

  • Multimedia

    How to Better Support Military Caregivers

    Caring for a current or former U.S. servicemember can take a toll on family, friends, and acquaintances. Changes are needed to both provide assistance to caregivers and to help them make plans for the future.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • Former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole speaking at the 2014 Pardee RAND Graduate School commencement

    Blog

    Sen. Elizabeth Dole Urges Graduates to Use Storytelling to Advance Policy

    Facts and objective analysis are important, but for policy analysts to make a difference in the real world they also have to be able to tell a story, former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said at the June 21 Pardee RAND Graduate School commencement.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • military homecoming

    Blog

    Ask Me Anything: Rajeev Ramchand on Military Caregivers

    With military caregivers quickly becoming a topic of national discussion, RAND's Rajeev Ramchand hosted an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit last week, fielding a variety of questions about military caregivers and other issues concerning mental health and the U.S. military.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • old hands on walking stick

    Project

    Dementia Blueprint

    Annual costs of dementia exceed those of cancer and heart disease and will only continue to rise as the nation's population ages. Key policy options can help strengthen and improve long-term services and supports for those with dementia and their caregivers.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Improving Dementia Long-Term Care: RAND Offers Policy Blueprint to Assist Millions

    As millions of Americans struggle to help loved ones with dementia, policymakers should consider more ways to improve long-term services and supports for the soaring numbers of people with the debilitating condition and their caregivers.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • Woman walking with and guiding her elderly grandmother

    Report

    Improving Dementia Long-Term Care: A Policy Blueprint

    As millions of Americans struggle to help loved ones with dementia, policymakers should consider more ways to improve long-term services and supports for the soaring number of people with the debilitating condition and their caregivers.

    Jun 22, 2014

  • losing brain function, tree with leaves falling

    Research Brief

    What Can Be Done About Dementia?

    Policy options to improve dementia long-term care include those that increase public awareness and promote earlier detection, improve access to and quality of services, increase support to family caregivers, and reduce the cost burden.

    Jun 22, 2014

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    Dementia's Mounting Toll on the U.S. Economy

    Dementia costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars per year, and the annual cost could top half a trillion by 2040 due to the 'graying' of the U.S. population.

    May 27, 2014

  • Woman pushing a disabled man in a wheelchair

    Commentary

    One Military Caregiver's Story

    America shouldn't forget the sacrifices of those who care for the wounded. Rachel O'Hern tells the story of her life as a military caregiver, one of millions of spouses, family members, and friends who support service members and veterans with physical or emotional injuries or illnesses.

    May 23, 2014