We Need Your Numbers to Adequately Fund Your Help

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We Need Your Numbers to Adequately Fund Your Help

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number-703136_640(Editor’s Note: This is the eight blog post in a series called Imagine during which I explore what could be when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent tracks family caregiver stress and its source.)

In 2009, almost 66 million Americans provided care to an elderly, disabled or chronically ill friend or family member, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving.

In 2013, Pew Research Center estimated that more than 90 million individuals care for an adult or child with significant health issues.

In 2015, National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the prior 12 months.

So, we have anywhere from 44 million to more than 90 million individuals who provide care to a family member or friend.

In other words, we don't know how many individuals in U.S. provide care.

Which means we can't effectively lobby for funding for programs and services to help you.

Oh, wait, we don't have a national program or service in place to help all of you. Even though your economic value of your unpaid contributions was approximately $470 billion in 2013, you can't count on your community to provide ongoing help and support throughout your caregiving experience. (AARP Public Policy Institute puts an economic value on your caregiving work through its Valuing the Invaluable series. They computed that $470 billion based on about 40 million family caregivers in the United States providing an estimated 37 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities. Of course, that number could be off since we don't really know the correct number of family caregivers.)

What you do every day adds up to so much--we need numbers to truly reflect that.

Imagine.

Imagine we have an efficient way to count the number of family caregivers in the U.S. As we tally numbers, we also can effectively intervene with family caregivers to understand their stress level and the source of their stress. With this data, we can lobby for funding and create programs which truly make a difference for family caregivers.

You can help make this happen:

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