Families across the globe spend enormous amounts of time and financial resources to care for their loved ones, mostly elderly parents, siblings or spouses.

We have published a number of blogs about studies done in various countries that illustrated the importance of family caregiving and how under appreciated and recognized these sacrifices are. financial burden and job loss.

Now we have the facts about the value of family caregiving – at least the facts in the US as reported in a new report issued this month by the AARP Public Policy Institute.

The report finds that the economic value of family caregiving in the US reached US$375 billion in 2007, more than the amount spent in 2007 for Medicaid.    The report, “Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Family Caregiving, 2008 Update” estimates that 34 million Americans provide more than 20 hours of care per week to another adult, making informal caregiving a cornerstone of US health and long-term care.

Families are going to be even further taxed as the population ages.   And it is society’s responsibility to make sure they are supported.   But is it happening?  What’s the status in your country?