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Home care’s effect on the economy

With the deadline to raise the debt ceiling getting closer each day, the economy is at the forefront of the minds of many Americans. The home care industry—and family members providing care for their adult loved ones—has a great impact on the economy.

According to a recent report from the AARP Public Policy Institute, the economic impact of home care in 2009 was approximately $450 billion with more than 40 million Americans provided care for an adult family member. Family caregivers face great challenges, balancing jobs with caregiving. In 2009, the average family caregiver was a 49-year-old woman with a full-time job who spent about 20 hours per week on caregiving tasks.

The economic downturn has impacted the industry, which has seen a 67 percent increase in requests for help from caregiver support services from 2007 to 2009. If family caregivers were no longer available, the cost to the U.S. healthcare and long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems would see a great increase. Read more about the economic impact here.

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