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North Carolina Family Caregivers Provide $13.1 Billion Annually in Unpaid Care to Family, Friends at Home

Posted on 11/12/19

RALEIGH. NC— In North Carolina approximately 1.33 million family caregivers provided an estimated 1.11 billion hours of care — worth a staggering 13.1 billion dollars— to their parents, spouses, partners, and friends in 2017, according to state data available in the latest report of AARP’s Valuing the Invaluable series. The complexity of family caregiving increases as medical and nursing tasks continue to enter the home, and family demographics change amidst an aging population.

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“There are a growing number of family caregivers in North Carolina who are making great personal and professional sacrifices to help take care of loved ones and they need some support,” said AARP North Carolina Director Michael Olender.

“To begin with, we must make sure that the money allocated to home and community based care through the state’s Department of Health and Human Services budget is passed by the General Assembly. Those services are vital when it comes to helping people live in their own homes and communities as long as possible,” he said.

“AARP is fighting to support family caregivers and the older family and friends who count on them. In 2019, AARP North Carolina helped secure funding for Home and Community Care Block Grants which help fund vital programs including home-delivered meals, in-home health aides, adult day care and many others. Currently, there are waiting lists across the state for these vital programs for older adults and people with disabilities,” Olender said.

In 2020, AARP will continue to fight for commonsense solutions to give family caregivers more support, help at home, training and more. Those solutions include:

  • NC Caregivers Act Passage: Support family caregivers when a loved one goes into the hospital and as they transition home though passage of the North Carolina Caregivers Act which passed the NC Senate (SB 161) in 2019.
  • Give highly trained nurses the ability to practice to the full extent of their training and experience.
  • Promote greater access by breaking down the barriers that prevent use of telehealth—digital information and communication technologies, like computers and mobile devices, that help family caregivers manage their own or their loved one’s health.
  • Implemeting the reccomendations of a forthcoming report in 2020 by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine on Serious Illness Care.

The full report includes national and state figures, trends in family caregiving, and policy recommendations. To review the report and the methodology, visit: www.aarp.org/valuing.

Resources and information on family caregiving, including AARP’s Prepare to Care Guides, are available at www.aarp.org/caregiving.

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

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