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

  • Congressional Briefing Podcast

    Multimedia

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers

    In this May 15th Congressional Briefing, Terri Tanielian and Rajeev Ramchand present the challenges today's military caregivers face, and what Congress and others can do to support them.

    May 15, 2014

  • Marine Corps Base Quantico hosts a spouse appreciation event every month at the Clubs at Quantico

    Commentary

    Finding a New Normal: A Military Caregiver's Perspective

    The landscape for caregivers remains very difficult. Many still need additional training on how to best provide care for their loved ones, respite so they can care for themselves, and other forms of support.

    May 6, 2014

  • serviceman and family

    Report

    RAND Military Caregivers Study: Key Facts and Statistics

    Although significant attention has been paid to servicemembers and veterans with service-related injuries and associated conditions, little is known about the needs of their caregivers or the resources that exist to meet them. This presentation highlights findings from the RAND Military Caregivers Study on caregiver activities, support, and services.

    Apr 16, 2014

  • Army husband and wife

    Commentary

    Four Ways to Help Military Caregivers

    As momentum continues to build, stakeholders across the board should keep in mind four broad recommendations for how to help military caregivers.

    Apr 15, 2014

  • sailor homecoming

    Commentary

    Military Caregivers Are Hidden Heroes

    Right now there are 5.5 million wives, husbands, siblings, parents, children and friends devoted to the care of those injured fighting America's wars. Theirs is an all-consuming, emotionally draining task, one that has been driven for too long by loyalty and love, but little support.

    Apr 2, 2014

  • The Colorado River flows through Black Canyon, south of Hoover Dam

    Periodical

    RAND Review Examines Water Management, Military Caregivers, Joint Aircraft, Income Inequality

    Stories in RAND's flagship magazine discuss the implications of climate change for the Colorado River Basin and the Sierra Nevada, the burdens borne by military caregivers, the drawbacks of joint aircraft programs, and growing inequalities across the European Union.

    Apr 1, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    1.1 Million Americans Providing Care to Military Members Who Served Since 9/11

    More than 1.1 million spouses, parents, and friends are caring for the injured and disabled who have served in the U.S. military since Sept. 11, 2001, often doing so without a formal support network and putting their own well-being at risk.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • wife welcoming soldier home on Army leave

    Commentary

    A World Without America's Military Caregivers

    A world without military caregivers would be a harsher one for all, particularly for those who have served. Caregivers' sacrifices improve the lives of wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, more of whom would suffer without them.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • young soldier with wife

    Report

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers — Executive Summary

    This summary distills a longer report, Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers . It describes the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States, identifies gaps in support services, and offers recommendations.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • soldier welcomed home from Afghanistan, photo by Capt. Charlie Dietz/U.S. Army

    Report

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers

    There are 5.5 million military caregivers across the United States, with nearly 20 percent caring for someone who served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Military caregivers experience more health problems, face greater strains in family relationships, and have more workplace issues than noncaregivers. Changes are needed to both provide assistance to caregivers and to help them make plans for the future.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • senior couple smiling

    Research Brief

    Who Are Military Caregivers? And Who Is Supporting Them?

    There are 5.5 million Americans caring for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, providing indispensable services and saving the nation millions in health and long-term care costs. Researchers describe who these caregivers are, the burden they bear, available programs and resources, and areas where they need more support.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • working in office with computer and phone

    Research Brief

    Military Caregivers in the Workplace

    The business community can support military caregivers in many ways: raise awareness by promoting messages that support military caregivers, offer support services, work with employees to accomodate their caregiver duties, and hire caregivers.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • husband and wife with doctor

    Research Brief

    Supporting Military Caregivers: The Role of Health Providers

    Health care providers can support military caregivers in many ways: acknowledge them as part of the health care team, routinely assess caregiving needs and the presence of caregiver support, integrate them into health providers' culture, and adopt appropriate caregiver documentation requirements to facilitate their engagement.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • U.S. Capitol in spring

    Research Brief

    Supporting Military Caregivers: Options for Congress

    Congress can support military caregivers in many ways: reconsider eligibility requirements for caregiver support programs, ensure health care coverage for military caregivers, promote the integration and coordination of programs and services, and fully fund the Lifespan Respite Care Act.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • paper dolls in a circle

    Research Brief

    Support Resources for Military Caregivers

    Caregiving can take a lot of time and impose a heavy burden on caregiver health and well-being. But finding and utilizing support resources can help. Support services for military caregivers may provide respite care, financial stipends, health care and mental health care services, and more.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • soldier hugging friend

    Blog

    Spotlight on America's Hidden Heroes: Military Caregivers

    Despite military caregivers' vital contributions, little is known about their numbers, the burden of caregiving that they shoulder, or the resources that exist to support them. To shed light on these "hidden heroes," a RAND team conducted the largest, most comprehensive study to date of military caregivers.

    Mar 24, 2014

  • woman hugging soldier

    Project

    The RAND Military Caregivers Study

    The RAND Military Caregivers Study focuses on caregivers of wounded, ill, and injured U.S. military servicemembers and veterans.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014

    Blog

    State of the Union 2014: President Obama Calls for a Year of Action

    Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • Senior man and adult daughter enjoying time together over lunch

    Journal Article

    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.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Giving EMS Flexibility in Transporting Low-Acuity Patients Could Generate Substantial Medicare Savings

    If Medicare had the flexibility to reimburse EMS for managing selected 911 calls in ways other than transport to an ED, we estimate that the federal government could save $283–$560 million or more per year, while improving the continuity of patient care.

    Dec 1, 2013