Informal Caregiving in the Aging United States: Shifting Perspectives to Meet Social Needs
The aging population of the United States continues to spark discussion on the need for increased, adequate care services when looking to the future. Whether home or institution-based, long-term care services are necessary for the wellbeing and daily care of older Americans living longer despite increased chronic medical conditions. Most of these individuals receive care in their homes, often from informal caregivers such as friends, family, and neighbors.
Current government policies perpetuate informal caregiving through cutbacks in social service programs, stalls in new legislation to address infrastructure needs, and a lack of universal formal supports, particularly in rural areas. Informal caregivers bear the brunt of these gaps, with government policymakers supporting a service-based system wherein informal caregiving saves healthcare spending.