2020 Caregiving Recommendations

Approximately 18 percent of all Coloradans provide unpaid care to an older friend or family member. These unpaid caregivers, who play an essential role in helping older adults remain in their homes and communities, are vital to the health and well-being of our state. As Colorado’s population continues to age, their unpaid work will only grow in importance.

Yet, there are significant gaps in the support systems unpaid caregivers rely upon to maintain their own and their loved one’s health. Too often, this results in inadequate access to resources like respite, financial assistance, training, and paid leave. The absence of these services impacts caregivers’ mental, physical, and financial well-being, but can also lead to worse health outcomes for older adults, higher nursing home costs for the state, and lost productivity for businesses.

A three-pronged approach is needed to address current holes in the network of supports available to Colorado’s unpaid caregivers. Policies must leverage existing systems; broaden the network of service providers and recipients; and create new, relevant, resources. When enacted in tandem, proactive public policy can foster better outcomes for unpaid caregivers, but also for the many others who depend upon them.

Learn more about the actions Colorado can take now to help caregivers across the state by reading our new brief.