Work-Related Opportunity Costs Of Providing Unpaid Family Care In 2013 And 2050

A new article in Health Affairs estimates the effects of informal caregiving for community-dwelling older Americans on their caregivers’ employment, hours worked, and resulting foregone earnings. The article finds that the economic cost of this informal care was about $67 billion in 2013, but is likely to double by 2050, due to the growth of older, disabled adult populations and the growth in better-educated caregivers (who, in turn, are foregoing higher earnings than their less-educated predecessors). The author concludes with a call for policy action that continues to estimate these indirect costs while developing programming to support unpaid caregivers.