AARP study shows worth of work by unpaid caregivers has gone up

DES MOINES — A new AARP report finds the 330,000 unpaid family caregivers contributed work that would be worth $5.2 billion in 2021.

AARP Iowa director Brad Anderson says that’s an increase of one BILLION dollars — due in part to severe shortages of workers in the field. “There are a lot of people that are out there right now looking for home based care services, but they’re unable to find them because of the workforce shortage. And so that means that family members are having to step up,” Anderson says.

Anderson says another reason for this increase is the population of residents over the age of 65 continues to grow. “Now we have more people that are going to need care, and then fewer people providing that care. So caregivers are going to be asked to do a lot in the coming years and we need policies in place that support them,’ Anderson says.

The study found family caregivers contributed an estimated 310 million hours in unpaid care with the dollar figure derived from
pay rate of $16.80 an hour.