Report: Uptick in Hours, Value of Unpaid Family Care in WI
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
The economic value of uncompensated family caregiving in Wisconsin has increased by more than $2 billion, according to the latest report estimating how many hours family members are putting in without a lot of support.
AARP Wisconsin said the state's more than 500,000 family caregivers provided an estimated 540 million hours of unpaid care in 2021, worth roughly $9 billion, compared to 490 million hours worth just under $7 billion in the group's 2019 report.
Martha Cranley, state director of AARP Wisconsin, said placing a price tag on such care is important because of the financial pressure caregivers often encounter.
"We know about three-quarters of people who are family caregivers are actually also in the workforce," Cranley pointed out. "They're either cutting back on their hours or they are taking unpaid time. So, that generally puts people in more of a financial risk."
She added there are out-of-pocket expenses, too. The group is renewing calls for policy actions, including a special tax credit for unpaid family caregivers, and expanding the scope of paid leave opportunities.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has the ideas in his proposed budget, but Republicans, who control the Legislature, haven't been too receptive to the spending plan.
To the public, Cranley said it might be expected a person would provide care to an aging family member without asking for much in return. But she said with the numbers trending higher, there are concerns more individuals could end up in nursing homes or have extended hospital stays.
"Imagine that all of those folks had to go into a health care system that's already really struggling," Cranley emphasized. "Our health care workforce is undercompensated, and there's not enough of them already."
The State of Wisconsin does offer information about family caregiver support programs. Local specialists can guide caregivers on how to access training, financial planning and respite services, along with other resources.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…
It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …
With Pennsylvania's primary election less than 60 days away, a nonpartisan group is stepping up the pace to educate people on voting by mail and by …