Colorado’s Unpaid Caregivers

As part of our larger Aging Agenda, which will be released at the beginning of 2020, we are diving into several important aspects of our aging stage. In this new brief, we look at the prevalence of unpaid caregiving in Colorado.

Related: Older Adults in Colorado’s Workforce

From providing support with transportation and meal preparation to assisting with medication management and housework, unpaid caregivers are essential to helping older Coloradans age in their homes and communities. In 2017 alone, Colorado’s unpaid caregivers provided $7.8 billion of uncompensated care.

Despite caregivers’ importance, both their work and needs are often ignored — an oversight that contributes to physical, mental, and financial challenges threatening the long-term security of families throughout our state. This brief explores these challenges, describes who our unpaid caregivers are, and details why we collectively benefit when these women and men have the resources and supports they need.

Related: Aging in Colorado: Research & Resources

Providing unpaid care for older adults is often hidden work, overlooked by our state, our businesses, and even unpaid caregivers themselves. That we so often fail to recognize the value and impact of this work has real consequences on the long-term health and security for unpaid caregivers and their families. By taking proactive and comprehensive steps to support these individuals, we not only meet the needs of our older adults, but also their families, their loved ones, and our entire community.

Read this short brief on Colorado’s unpaid caregivers now, then keep an eye out for future pieces as we work toward building an actionable aging policy agenda.

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