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.

  • Woman working on a laptop with baby using a tablet in the foreground and older child at a table in the background, photo by recep-bg/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How the Coronavirus Changed the Childcare Debate

    Policymakers have long had evidence that childcare enables mothers to work. What the COVID-19 pandemic taught everyone is how the lack of childcare can be a disastrous constraint.

    Jul 26, 2021

  • Su Wilson visits her mother Chun Liu, a resident at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, a long-term care facility linked to several COVID-19 deaths in Kirkland, Washington, May 10, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Report

    Reimagining Policy Decisionmaking in Long-Term Care

    Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities were often mandated without input from residents and their family members, administrators, or staff. What can be done to make policy decisionmaking in these settings more inclusive?

    Oct 20, 2022

Explore Caregivers

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

    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 younger man helping an elderly man who is using a walker

    Solution

    Planning for the Rising Costs of Dementia

    Dementia is a chronic disease of aging that reduces cognitive function, leaving people unable to tend to even their most basic, everyday needs. A RAND-led research team developed the most precise estimate to date of the economic burden of the disease.

    Nov 20, 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