Oklahoma Family Caregivers Provide $6.6 Billion and 460 Million Hours of Unpaid Care to Loved Ones

Posted on 03/08/23

The love between a mother and daughter

The unpaid care provided by the 490,000 family caregivers in Oklahoma is valued at $6.6 billion, according to new state data in AARP's latest Valuing the Invaluable series report. The new figure shows an $800 million increase 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 are the backbone of Oklahoma's long-term care system, whether they care for someone at home, coordinate home health care, or help care for someone who lives in a nursing home," said AARP Oklahoma State President Jim Randall. "AARP Oklahoma won't stop fighting until all family caregivers have the financial, emotional and social support they need because the care they provide is invaluable to those receiving it and their community." 

AARP is urging lawmakers to bring much-needed financial relief to family caregivers who pay for expensive care to help their loved ones live at home. 

The Caring for Caregivers Act, House Bill 1368, by Rep. Tammy West and Sen. John Michael Montgomery provides well-deserved financial relief to family caregivers who pay for home safety modifications, medical equipment or home health care to help keep their parents, spouses and other loved ones at home longer. The credit covers up to 50% of the expenses incurred and is capped at $2,000 or $3,000 if the person receiving care is a veteran or has a dementia-related diagnosis. Oklahomans can voice their support for the Caring for Caregivers Act by emailing legislators.

"Family caregiving can be physically, emotionally and financially challenging," Randall said. "The Caring for Caregivers Act recognizes the hard work and sacrifice and assists those stepping up to the plate to care for their loved ones."

Read the full report for national and state-by-state data on the economic value of unpaid care by family and friends.

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

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

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