Latest AARP research attaches a value of $1.76 billion to the estimated 105 million hours of unpaid care that family caregivers provided in 2021
Helena, Mont., March. 08, 2023 — The unpaid care provided by the 112,000 caregivers in Montana is valued at $1.76 billion, according to new state data available in AARP’s latest report in the Valuing the Invaluable series [www.aarp.org/valuing]. This is a $350 million increase in unpaid contributions in Montana since the last report was released in 2019. The report highlights the growing scope and complexity of family caregiving and highlights actions needed to address the many challenges of caring for parents, spouses, and other loved ones.
Download the Valuing the Invaluable in Montana Fact Sheet >>
“Family caregivers play a vital role in Montana’s health care system, whether they care for someone at home, coordinate home health care, or help care for someone who lives in a nursing home,” said Tim Summers, AARP Montana State Director. “We want to make sure all family caregivers have the financial, emotional and social support they need, because the care they provide is invaluable both to those receiving it and to their community.”
AARP Montana has been fighting to support family caregivers and the older family and friends who count on them. In 2017, AARP Montana helped pass the Montana Caregiver Act. This important measure eases the stress of caregivers by providing them with instruction and support when a loved one goes into the hospital and then transitions home upon discharge.
In previous sessions, AARP continued the fight for common sense solutions to give family caregivers more support, help at home, training, resources and respite. Those solutions include:
- Full funding for 100 home and community based Medicaid waiver slots;
- Exempting caregivers from Medicaid Expansion work requirements;
- Providing full medical signature authority for advance practice nurses (APRNs);
- Helping to make respite care for caregivers more available and,
- Helping to prevent financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.
AARP Montana is currently fighting and will continue to fight for family caregivers and the loved ones they care for.
- Right now, AARP is urging the state legislature to increase funding for home and community based care options in the 2023-2024 state budget in the current legislative session.
- Additionally, AARP is advocating for the passage of an advance practice nurses (APRNs) licensure compact bill making it easier for APRNs to practice across state lines, increasing the health care and telehealth options for caregivers (HB 409).
AARP Montana also provides support to family caregivers and the loved ones who depend on them for care. Those resources include:
- Offering “Prepare to Care” webinars regularly to provide information to caregivers.
- Offering a comprehensive, Montana-specific resource guide at www.aarp.org/TakeCareMT
- Holding Tele Townhalls on caregiving topics.
All events & resources are free and available to the public, regardless of age or AARP membership status.
“Today in Montana, a silent army of family caregivers are the backbone of our state’s care system providing home care for older Montanans and adults with disabilities,” said Summers. “Family caregivers are everyday heroes who are the first line of defense against older Montanans being forced from their homes and into nursing homes or back into the hospital. It’s important that we take care of our caregivers.”
Read the full report at www.aarp.org/valuing for national and state-by-state data on the economic value of unpaid care by family and friends.
Resources and information on family caregiving are available at aarp.org/caregiving.
About AARP: AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
About AARP Montana: For over 50 years, AARP has been working right here in big sky country to improve the lives of Montanans 50 plus. As a non-profit organization, AARP Montana advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. We’re committed to helping already great communities across Montana become even better places for people of all ages to live and thrive by granting funds through our Community Challenge Grant Program. We fund small dollar, big impact projects in several categories, including transportation, safe streets, housing and public parks and trails.
We also connect Montanans with information and resources as well as help people connect with others who share their interests and passions – like music! As a proud sponsor of The Myrna Soundstage and the Helena Symphony, we bring quality concerts to Montanans both in-person and virtually. By fighting on issues that matter most to Montana families and providing trusted information, we’re helping to empower Montanans to choose how they live as they age. As a nonpartisan organization, AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political action committees, campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/MT or follow @AARPMontana on social media.