Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Elder care: household production

Jane Gross at the NY Times blogs on a recent AARP report, which points out that eldercare is mostly provided by families: Love’s Labor. (There's a reason why families are our most ancient unit of production.)

The report, Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Family Caregiving, 2008 Update, by Ari Houser and Mary Jo Gibson begins by noting that
"In 2007, about 34 million family caregivers provided care at any given point in time, and about 52 million provided care at some time during the year. The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $375 billion in 2007, up from an estimated $350 billion in 2006."
"The economic value of caregiving exceeded total Medicaid long-term care (LTC) spending in all states, and was more than three times as high in 36 states. Compared with Medicaid home- and community-based service spending, the economic value of family caregiving was at least three times as high in all states, and more than 10 times as high in 19 states."

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