Research Cases

Long-Term Care in the Family Context

By August, 2016 No Comments
Portrait of a couple

Andrew Caplin Ph.D., Director, Scientific Agenda The Human Project; Deputy Director, ISDM New York University

Mi Luo , Ph.D student, Department of Economics, New York University

Kathleen McGarry Ph.D., Chair Study Population Advisory Council, The Human Project; Professor Of Economics and Chair, Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles

Date Published
August, 2016

As individuals live longer, the risk of dementia and other disabilities that require long-term care is likely to rise. This care is expensive, with nursing homes averaging approximately $90,000 per year per patient and few elderly having insurance that covers long-term care. The high cost of long-term care places great strain not only on the public purse, but also on family members. The Human Project provides the opportunity for the first holistic picture of how long-term care impacts both the recipients and the providers of care. It will illuminate differences between outcomes for individuals without a support structure and those with familial and other forms of social support. Having such data will enable us to answer open questions on family dynamics such as: How do siblings decide who cares for a parent? Are there “side payments” between siblings, with the caregiving siblings receiving compensation from a non-caregiving sibling who might live too far away or whose opportunity cost of time might be too great? How does the provisioning of care impact bequests of the patient? The resulting knowledge will help families prepare for possible future care needs, improve public policies, and advance the design of insurance options available in the private marketplace.

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