The unpaid care provided by the 121,000 Rhode Island caregivers is valued at $2.1 billion, according to new state data available in AARP’s latest report in the Valuing the Invaluable series.
This is a $300 million increase in unpaid contributions 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.
“Family caregivers play a vital role in Rhode Island’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 Catherine Taylor, AARP Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island says in a press release that it is fighting and will continue to fight for family caregivers and the loved ones they care for.
During the 2021 Rhode Island General Assembly Session AARP Rhode Island and a host of other organizations successfully lobbied to enhance the Temporary Caregiver Insurance program by increasing the number of weeks a worker can take annually to care for a loved one from 4 to 6 weeks.
- Right now, AARP is urging state lawmakers to support family caregivers who work because caring for a loved one shouldn’t mean losing pay—or even your job. House Bill 5781/Senate Bill 139 will increase the number of weeks that one can take annually to 12. These bills would also expand the definition of family in Rhode Island’s existing paid family leave law to include siblings, grandchildren and other care recipients to fit the reality of Rhode Island’s diverse and multigenerational families.
Read the full report 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.