Press Release: The Value of Caring Research Study is completed !

EUFAMI (European Federation of Associations of Families affected by mental illness) and LSE (The London School of Economics and Political Science/Policy and Evaluation Centre) are pleased to inform that the 2-year research study on the ‘Value of Caring’ is now completed and the resources are publicly available.

The project is a collaboration between EUFAMI (European Federation of Family Associations of people affected by mental illness) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The main project researchers are David McDaid and A-La Park, Associate and Assistant Professorial Research Fellow respectively in Health Policy and Health Economics within the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at LSE.

This survey of more than 700 informal caregivers across Europe and Canada highlights the tremendous and too often hidden value of caregiving. Potentially without the input of these carers (mainly close family) some of the support would need to be provided instead by national health and social care systems.

The aims of the research are firstly to better understand components of the economic impact of informal care in specific country contexts. Secondly, to make an estimate the economic value of informal caring, and separately provide a simple tool that can be used to help refine estimates of the value of informal caring.

Key findings from the research study indicate that it is critical to invest in support measures for these informal caregivers and identify potential risk factors that might lead to a breakdown in the informal care they provide. Family members and other informal carers who support people with mental health problems, are an essential part of mental health support systems. However, usually their contributions are not fully recognised, and this results in insufficient support for their own health and welfare needs.

An example from the key findings would be that the average length of the caring week exceeds the length of the working week. On average informal carers provide more than 43 hours of care every week, well in excess of the average working week. Also, each hour of caring time is valued by carers to be between €23.62 and €28.75. This indicates that the economic value of informal care is substantial: on a year basis between €61,026 and €74,907.

Please find here a link to the relevant webpage to download resources:

http://eufami.org/resources/the-value-of-car…re-now-available/ ‎

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