Here’s a chance to voice your appreciation to the caregivers you know – while also helping out the ALS Association (ALSA).
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and Permobil is donating $100 for every e-card that is sent to a caregiver till the end of the month, up to a maximum of $25,000.
“The eCard acknowledges and honors [caregivers’] contributions and offers resources to support their dedication to all those affected by ALS,” the ALSA Web site says.
Web site visitors who send cards can add their personal messages of support to the caregivers in their lives, and can also elect to receive e-mail updates from ALSA. To send a card, click HERE.
A new study released Oct. 27 by the RAND Corp. says friends and family members of seniors in the United States provide $522 billion worth of caregiving per year.
That caregiving is free of charge, but the study says it would cost $221 billion for minimum-wage unskilled care or $642 billion for skilled nursing care if tasks now being performed by relatives and friends had to be instead performed by paid employees.
The RAND study added that people in the United States devote an estimated 30 billion hours of free caregiving to seniors each year.
Making caregiving even more challenging for family and friends is the fact that three of every five caregivers are also in the workforce. An estimated 22 billion of the 30 billion caregiving hours are performed by people under the age of 65, and those people often lose wages because they’re away from their jobs to care for loved ones.
Ateev Mehrotra, M.D., the RAND study’s co-author and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said about the research, “Our findings explain the interest in workplace flexibility policies being considered by a number of states that provide paid time off from work for caregivers, as well as programs such as Medicaid’s Cash and Counseling program that allows family caregivers to be paid for their assistance.”
The study’s other authors were John Engberg, Ph.D., senior economist at RAND Corp., and Kristin N. Ray, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.