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The economic value of caring for your elderly parents

What is the economic value of caring for an elderly parent?

The economy doesn’t care if you volunteer in your community. In fact, the Gross Domestic Product doesn’t count volunteer work at all, and that includes unpaid care-giving for a sick loved one. But with such high costs for elderly home care, there’s often no alternative, as Marketplace’s Chris Farrell says.

“The economic value of this unpaid work? It’s enormous,” says Farrell, noting how the MetLife Foundation tried to come up with a figure for adults taking care of their aging parents. Including lost wages, lost Social Security benefits and lost potential savings, they added it all up to $3 trillion.

Click the audio player above to hear more of Chris Farrell’s thoughts on what unpaid care-givers face in today’s economy.

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.
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