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

  • 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

  • a man in a wheelchair with his wife and caregiver

    Commentary

    They Also Serve: Understanding the Needs of Military Caregivers

    Military families play a critical role in supporting U.S. servicemembers during deployment and afterwards. Equally vital but often less visible is the role played by those who care for the servicemembers who return with disabling injuries or illnesses and require long-term support beyond what the formal health care system provides.

    Nov 18, 2013

  • an Indian doctor talking to a patient

    Journal Article

    Foreign-Educated Health Workers Play Vital Role, but Changes May Be Needed to Stabilize U.S. Health Workforce

    Foreign-educated and foreign-born health professionals fill important gaps in the U.S. health care workforce, but strategic shifts such as changes in immigration laws may be needed to stabilize the nation's health workforce.

    Nov 1, 2013

  • sad mother

    Report

    Maternal Depression: Implications for Systems Serving Mothers and Children

    Since women are almost twice as likely as men to experience depression and most women age 15 to 50 have children, maternal depression is an important issue. This report informs policymakers and practitioners of evidence connecting maternal depression and negative outcomes for both mother and child.

    Aug 12, 2013

  • magnifying glass and charts

    Brochure

    Evaluating Medicare Demonstration Projects

    RAND works closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to design, test, implement, and evaluate demonstration projects that span a wide range of care settings and issues.

    Jun 26, 2013

  • Couple reviewing finances with an advisor

    Commentary

    The Cost of Dementia: Who Will Pay?

    It is time for the government in partnership with industry to return to the drawing board to craft a plan that will provide protection for the more than 9 million people who will need care for dementia by 2040, writes Michael D. Hurd.

    May 1, 2013

  • Young woman and grandfather sitting hand in hand at table

    Commentary

    Dementia's Growing Cost to Caregivers

    At the rate that the U.S. population is aging, the total cost of dementia could reach half a trillion dollars a year by 2040. Those who care for impaired relatives and friends are acutely aware of the effects of dementia, and unfortunately they are all too familiar with its costs, writes Kathleen J. Mullen.

    Apr 29, 2013

  • an elderly couple, man possibly with dementia

    Journal Article

    Cost of Dementia Tops $159 Billion Annually in the United States

    The monetary cost of dementia in the United States ranges from $159 billion to $215 billion annually, making the disease more costly to the nation than either heart disease or cancer. The greatest cost is associated with providing institutional and home-based long-term care rather than medical services.

    Apr 1, 2013

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Improving Cross-System Care for Parental Depression and Early Childhood Developmental Delays

    The Helping Families Raise Healthy Children initiative addressed depression among parents of children with early childhood developmental delays, aligning the early intervention and behavioral health systems with a focus on relationship-based care.

    Mar 19, 2013