Highlighting Saint Paul

New Report Highlights Increasing Cost of Family Caregiving

Posted on 03/08/23

The unpaid care provided by the 530,000 caregivers in Minnesota is valued at $10 billion according to new state data available in AARP’s latest report in the Valuing the Invaluable series aarp.org/valuing. This is a $1.4 billion difference in unpaid contributions since the last report was released in 2019. The report highlights the growing scope and complexity of family caregiving and highlights actions needed to address the many challenges of caring for parents, spouses, and other loved ones. 

Family caregivers play a vital role in Minnesota’s health care system, whether they care for someone at home, coordinate home health care, or help care for someone who lives in a nursing home. We want to make sure all family caregivers have the financial, emotional and social support they need, because the care they provide is invaluable both to those receiving it and to their community. 
Cathy McLeer, AARP Minnesota State Director

AARP Minnesota is fighting and will continue to fight for family caregivers and the loved ones they care for. 

  • Right now, AARP is urging state lawmakers to support family caregivers who work because caring for a loved one shouldn’t mean losing pay—or even your job. The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (HF2; Richardson/ SF2; Mann) would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a seriously ill family member, bond with a new child, or for a worker’s own serious health condition. AARP MN will hold a Lobby Day on March 21 at the MN State Capitol to raise awareness for this issue.
  • AARP strongly supports a bill to strengthen and expand the Live Well at Home grants program (HF1851; Hicks/ SF1902; Nelson). The Live Well at Home grants provide critical funding to community organizations that provide services that help older Minnesotans live in their homes and communities. These services include chore services, respite, transportation, and support for family and friend caregivers.  
  • AARP is urging lawmakers to expand options for seniors to pay relatives for care through The MN Elderly Waiver Program under Medicaid, which helps seniors live in their homes and communities. Under this self-directed option, seniors can pay their family members for care. This option provides much more flexibility for seniors, and AARP supports increased funding to allow seniors to exercise this option. 
  • AARP supports expediting access to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) under a policy called presumptive eligibility that can help avoid unnecessary admissions to nursing homes and to support older adults in their homes. Today, older adults and people with disabilities who need long-term care under Medicaid may have to wait sometimes up to 90 days to establish eligibility, which inadvertently funnels many families who prefer home-based care toward nursing homes.  

Read the full report aarp.org/valuing for national and state-by-state data on the economic value of unpaid care by family and friends and learn more about AARP Minnesota’s legislative priorities at https://states.aarp.org/minnesota/aarp-minnesota-2023-legislative-priorities

Resources and information on family caregiving are available at aarp.org/caregiving. 

This story is provided by AARP Minnesota. Visit the AARP Minnesota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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