October 19, 2022 (Salt Lake City) – About 1 in 5 Utahns (more than 400,000 Utah adults) care for a family member or friend with a serious health problem or disability, providing $5.1 billion worth of services annually. This is according to a report published today by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, done in partnership with the College of Nursing-led interdisciplinary Family Caregiving Collaborative, which details the economic contributions and health impacts of family caregiving in Utah. The research shows that by 2030, there may be more than 100,000 additional Utah family caregivers, as the need for caregiving grows along with a growing and aging population.
“The number of family caregivers is expected to outpace the state’s general population growth, largely in response to Utah’s aging population and the projected increase in health care difficulties individuals in the state are expected to experience over time,” said Michael Hogue, Gardner Institute Senior Research Statistician and lead author of the report. “While family caregiving provides a valuable service, caregivers experience worse mental and physical health compared to peer non-caregivers. Taken together, these findings mean more Utahns may require time, resources, and mental and physical health support to provide care to family members or friends with health problems or disabili