I am driven to find new ways to support family caregivers
When we hear the phrase “long-term care,” we often think of a nursing home or some other health care provider. However, 85 percent of the care given to older adults—including those with different stages of dementia—comes from family members, not from a nursing home or other health care provider. The number of adults able to provide that care is expected to drop dramatically in the next 20 or 30 years.
“There are 250,000 people in Minnesota caring for those with Alzheimer’s disease. The economic value of family caregiving in Minnesota for Alzheimer’s alone is that of a Fortune 500 company.” Joseph Gaugler, Professor Click to tweet
Joseph Gaugler is dedicated to finding ways to support family members who provide this critical care. He is analyzing technology to assist in monitoring those with dementia, helping families during the transition to nursing homes, and trying to embed a family support program as part of adult day services.
The economy of caregiving
Ten years ago, the value of care provided by family and informal caregivers for aging adults nationwide was $375 billion. That increased to $450 billion in 2009 and to $470 billion in 2013. For comparison, in 2013 sales from the world’s largest company, Walmart, were $477 billion.