Metta Fund

Caregiving

As the population of older adults dramatically increases and life expectancies continue to rise, most of us will need care from both family and paid caregivers at some point.

41.8m

Americans provide unpaid care to an older person

4.5m

Workers in the direct care workforce

70%

Of adults 65+ will need long-term care

Every day, approximately 10,000 Americans turn 65. The population of older adults is rapidly increasing, and life expectancies continue to rise. Most of us wish to age in place in our communities, and at some point, most of us will need care from both family and professional caregivers.

Today, nearly 42 million Americans provide unpaid care to an older person— often a family member— while the direct care workforce comprises about 4.5 million workers. The growing demand for long-term services and supports is creating a direct care boom, and in the coming years, millions of jobs are expected to be filled to meet this expanding need.

Still, elder caregiving is one of the most overlooked issues facing our nation, and our long-term care infrastructure is unprepared for the impending demographic shift. Factors such as the shortage of paid workers, significant long-term care costs, and lack of social insurance have led to a long-term care crisis, made more complex by systemic inequity, with racial and gender disparities influencing both access and quality of care.

As this crisis intensifies, Metta Fund is committed to elevating equity in caregiving so that elders can age with health and dignity, and that family and paid caregivers can be supported, paid a living wage, and valued for their work.

Through the Caregiving portfolio, Metta Fund seeks to build a culture change movement that does not distinguish family care from paid caregivers, but rather views all caregivers as essential to the health and wellbeing of older adults. Our grantmaking in this area enables family and paid caregivers to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services; navigate complex health care systems; receive training and access resources; and educate the public and decision-makers about the value and rights of low-income and immigrant caregivers through advocacy, research, and storytelling.