Family members who provided care to another adult with functional limitations contributed an economic value of approximately $450 billion in 2009, according to a recent report.

The report, issued by the AARP Public Policy Institute, says that family caregivers incur direct out-of-pocket expenses, as well as lost wages and retirement income, lost productivity, higher health care costs, and more stress on their physical and emotional health.

At $450 billion, up from $375 billion in 2007, the economic value of family caregiving is therefore “more than total Medicaid spending in 2009, including both federal and state contributions for both health care and long-term supports and services ($361 billion),” the report says.

The full report, Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update; The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving is available here.

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