Primary findings were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November 19, 2007, San Francisco, California.
Estimating the Quantity and Economic Value of Family Caregiving for Community-Dwelling Older Persons in the Last Year of Life
Article first published online: 21 JUL 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2009, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 57, Issue 9, pages 1654–1659, September 2009
How to Cite
Rhee, Y., Degenholtz, H. B., Lo Sasso, A. T. and Emanuel, L. L. (2009), Estimating the Quantity and Economic Value of Family Caregiving for Community-Dwelling Older Persons in the Last Year of Life. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57: 1654–1659. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02390.x
- Issue published online: 28 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 21 JUL 2009
- informal care use;
- economic value of caregiving;
- HRS study;
- end of life
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the quantity and economic value of informal care provided to older persons during their final year of life in the community.
DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of publicly available nationally representative survey data.
SETTING: This retrospective study used data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of community-dwelling older people.
PARTICIPANTS: Older people who died between 2000 and 2002.
MEASUREMENTS: Data were extracted from the 2002 “exit survey” and linked with characteristics of caregivers from the helper file. Ordinary least squares regression was used to estimate hours of informal caregiving for community-dwelling older people (N=990). Adjusted hours were multiplied by the 2002 national average home aide wage ($9.16 per hour). Sensitivity tests were performed using the 10th percentile wage rate ($6.56) and 90th percentile wage rate ($12.34).
RESULTS: Older people who died in the community received on average 65.8 hours per week of informal care in the last year of life. The estimated economic value ranges from $22,514 to $42,351, which is equivalent to the annual direct replacement cost with a home aide in 2002.
CONCLUSION: Family members provide substantial assistance during the last year of life for older people who die in the community. If the informal care provided in the last year of life is replaced with a home aide, the total economic value for the United States would be approximately $1.4 billion (in 2002).