Caregiving in Colorado: 2020 & Beyond

Providing the majority of support for older adults, unpaid caregivers are essential members of Colorado’s caring ecosystem. Their support allows older Coloradans to remain in their homes and communities, age in ways they find meaningful, and reduces the need for high-cost care. As Colorado ages, the importance of unpaid caregivers is only expected to grow.

The following brief outlines research from the Bell Policy Center on the projected evolution of unpaid care in Colorado through 2030. Major findings include:

  • Colorado benefits by helping unpaid caregivers access services like respite, trainings, and workplace supports. When connected to lower nursing home utilization rates and increased workforce participation, caregiver supports could benefit the yearly state budget by between $130 million to $280 million in 2030.
  • By 2030, Colorado is expected to have an 115,000-person caregiver gap. This is the result of demographic projections that show the number of older adults in need of care growing at a faster rate than those in the age group most likely to provide support.
  • Though the majority reside along the Front Range, there’s both disproportionate need for and physical concentration of caregivers in other parts of Colorado. This distribution is expected to continue through 2030.
  • The preventative investments caregivers need — including respite, financial relief, and workplace supports — are currently in short supply. Without intentional effort, the gap between needed and available supports is expected to continue into the next decade.