The Future of Caregiving: 5 Predictions for 2024

By: Evan Falchuk
More Americans than ever are caregivers, creating challenges for families, the government, and our economy that are increasingly hard to ignore. I’m predicting five important trends, events, and impacts that I think we will see happen in 2024 because of these challenges, as well as the tremendous opportunities that exist to make a real impact on this growing crisis. Of course, predictions are hard—especially about the future—but with a problem this big, I expect big things to happen in the year ahead. 

1. President Biden will mention caregiving during the State of the Union address.

The year will kick off with President Biden talking about the importance of supporting caregivers, including touting the administration’s 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers. While the trouble in getting bills passed in Congress—and the reality of an election year—may make it difficult to take major new action to follow on the 2022 strategy, expect important action across federal agencies to do more to help family caregivers.  


2. Caregivers will face more financial strain than ever.

By the end of 2024, data on spending by families on the care needs of their loved ones will reach record levels. Data from this year show that family caregivers spend more than 25% of their annual income on caregiving costs. For decades, experts have predicted that American healthcare spending is unsustainable. Will the back-breaking out-of-pocket expenses faced by caregivers be the turning point that leads to massive change in how we finance healthcare in America? 


3. At least one Medicare Advantage plan will commit itself to supporting caregivers in a meaningful way. 

Quality measures are going to be increasingly important drivers of sales of MA plans in 2024. With nearly half of MA insureds either actively caring for a loved one or being cared for by a caregiver, there is a tremendous opportunity to support these caregivers in ways that improve quality of care, drive awareness of other benefits available to the member, and meaningfully improve the member experience. Some estimate that caregivers influence 70% or more of MA quality measures; at least one plan will implement a plan capture those improvements.  


4. Implementing a caregiving solution will become a top 5 issue employers focus on.

Nearly 75% of employees report balancing caregiving responsibilities with work, including employees in the “sandwich” generation, caring for parents and children at the same time. Employers face the bottom line costs that result in increasing absenteeism, disability, and leave; reduced retention and productivity; increased healthcare costs; reduced job satisfaction and well-being. More employers will prioritize solutions for these caregivers as a way to improve their bottom line. 


5. The risks of leveraging untrained, unaccredited professionals to deliver healthcare solutions and services will be exposed.

Healthcare solutions should never be delivered by unaccredited professionals, but this kind of business model has become more common than ever. We’ve started to see what happens when these kinds of models are delivered at scale. Papa, a billion-dollar company which sent people with limited training and experience to help seniors with various needs faced a major scandal in 2023 when the dangerous results of this model were revealed. Given the large number of businesses using unaccredited professionals to provide healthcare services, expect more of this in 2024.