With more family caregivers stepping up to provide home care for loved ones during the pandemic, and with many suffering financial hardship due to lost work or caregiving responsibilities, more states are offering programs that compensate family caregivers, an AARP Public Policy Institute report said. 

The report, “LTSS Choices: Paying Family Caregivers to Provide Care during the Pandemic—and Beyond,” found that 33 states had offered pre-pandemic options for self-directed long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs, including the hiring of family members. During the past year, 15 additional states have expanded their self-directed programs to allow hiring of family members.

“The vast majority of older adults want to stay in their homes as they age, and allowing them to pay a friend or family member to help with their daily needs can make that possible,” said Susan Reinhard, senior vice president of AARP’s Public Policy Institute. “The pandemic provided a push for states to expand this option, and we hope many of them will make their policy changes permanent. Paying family caregivers is a solution that saves states money and meets the growing need for long-term care.”