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Study on Valuing the Invaluable

As a person with a small child, I quickly appreciated all of the studies discussing the “economic value” that a stay-at-home mother brings to her family. She saves thousands of dollars in cost such as daycare, cleaning services, errand services, and education for her children. Similarly, a recent study attempted to value the “economic value” of family members who care for their aging relatives. According to the study, the economic value of those caregivers nationally in 2009 totaled over $450 billion dollars. This was up from $375 billion in 2007. The study found that in Michigan there are an average of 2 million caregivers at any given point in the year. This equates to a total economic value to Michigan’s elderly of $15,500,000,000. Astounding!