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CHANGE IS IMPERATIVE 2011

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CHANGE IS IMPERATIVE 2011. What is an “informal caregiver?”

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CHANGE IS IMPERATIVE 2011

What is an “informal caregiver?”

Individuals of all ages with disabilities depend on informal care provided by family and friends to carry out many of the routine activities of daily life. These informal caregivers fill in the gap by providing care when there is a lack of access to affordable care or appropriate care options that meet the family’s needs and budgetary considerations.

FACT:While the number of seniors in need of care is growing, the pool of available informal caregivers is shrinking.

FACT CARD 6: THE COST OF CAREGIVING

Seniors are finding fewer informal options for support and care.

While Minnesotans have historically had a strong caregiving ethic, the number of available informal caregivers continues to decline, even as Minnesota’s senior population grows.  The decline is the result of a number of factors, including more working women, smaller families and more seniors living alone.  The impact of this is significant: a 1% reduction in available informal caregivers requires an additional $30 million in public funds.  Policies and programs that support informal caregivers, such as respite care, adult day services, or tax credits will help support informal caregivers.

Who Provides Care to Older Minnesotans1

Each 1% drop in informal caregiving requires $30M in additional public funds.

Families

Agencies

CHANGE IS IMPERATIVE 2011

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FACT:The state must implement policies that support informal caregivers, who are the primary source of care for Minnesota seniors.

  • Minnesota seniors increasingly rely upon informal caregivers to help maintain independence.
    • The value of care provided by Minnesota’s informal caregivers is significant. The total estimated economic value of caregiving in Minnesota is $7.1 billion. This equals:
    • More than 2.5 times the value of Medicaid investments in institutional long-term care.
    • More than 4.5 times the Medicaid expenditures on home and community-based services.
    • It is critical that the state implements policies that maintain as much of this caregiving as possible as we move into an era of dramatic demographic change – especially in light of the diminishing availability of informal caregivers and the demands that they face.

Estimated Value of Caregiving and Medicaid Expenditures in Minnesota (in Billions)2

Informal Caregivers are the main source of long-term care in Minnesota.

About The Long-Term Care Imperative

The Long-Term Care Imperative is a collaborative effort between Care Providers of Minnesota and Aging Services of Minnesota, the state’s two long-term care provider associations. Our goal is to advance a shared vision and future for older adult housing, health care, and supportive services.

  • DATA SOURCES:
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • AARP Public Policy Institute, 2007

CHANGE IS IMPERATIVE 2011

FACT CARD 6: THE COST OF CAREGIVING

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