JUNE 18, 2004

Dorothy Deremo
Hospice of Michigan
President and CEO

Thank you Jon. The issue of the economic impact of caregiving must be put within a context of need and current delivery systems before looking to potential solutions. As Ken Dychtwald once said, the impending baby boomer generation is like a herd of velocoraptors who will eat every health care resource in sight over the next 50 years. We as a nation face impending age wars as this demographic tsunami unfolds if we do not plan for it in advance.


  • Social Demographics
    • “Pig in the Python” demographics
    • Social security ratio of persons paying into the system to persons receiving benefits
      1. 1950 – 15:1
      2. 2000 – 4:1
      3. 2030 – 2:1
    • Therefore, fewer professional and family caregivers in future
  • Chronic Condition Demographics Today
    • ½ of population has chronic one or more condition
    • Of these, 41 million are limited in daily activities
    • 12 million are unable to go to school work or function independently
  • Employed Caregivers for this Population
    • 65% of all caregivers are between the ages of 35-65 years old
    • 20-25% of all employees are caregivers of elderly relatives
      • 40% are also caring for children under the age of 18 living at home
      • 55% of employed caregivers are female and 45% are male, most are married, work full time and have a median age of 46.1 years
      • The older the workforce and more females employed, the higher caregiving within the employee population
      • The economic value of the free care provided by caregivers is estimated to be worth $257 billion annually
  • Impact on worker productivity
    • 49% of employed caregivers arrived late, left early, or took time off during work
    • 11% took leaves of absence
    • 7% worked fewer hours, took less demanding jobs
    • 4% lost job benefits
    • 3% turned down promotions
  • Impact on worker health (and health care costs)
    • Almost 70% of employed caregivers say that care giving has had a negative impact on health with 20% reporting significant problems
    • 50% cited additional visits to the doctor
    • Employed caregivers use 2-3 times the prescription drugs than non-caregiver employees
  • Calculated Financial Impact (Met Life Study of Employer Costs for Working Caregivers. 1997)
    • American businesses lose between $11 billion in lost productivity and a total of $29 billion each year when you add the additional health care expenses due to employees need to care for loved ones over the age or 50
  • Future is grime
    • 1990 – there were 11 potential caregivers for each person needing care
    • 2050 – this ratio will be 4:1

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