Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The cost of providing care by family and friends (informal care) in the last year of life: A population observational study

Johnson, Miriam J.; Currow, David C.; Chynoweth, Jade; Weatherly, Helen; Keser, Gamze; Hutchinson, Ann; Jones, Annie; Dunn, Laurie; Allgar, Victoria


David C. Currow

Jade Chynoweth

Helen Weatherly

Gamze Keser

Annie Jones

Laurie Dunn

Victoria Allgar


Introduction: Little is known about replacement costs of care provided by informal carers during the last year of life for people dying of cancer and non-cancer diseases. Aim: To estimate informal caregiving costs and explore the relationship with carer and decedent characteristics. Design: National observational study of bereaved carers. Questions included informal end-of-life caregiving into the 2017 Health Survey for England including estimated recalled frequency, duration and intensity of care provision. We estimated replacement costs for a decedent’s last year of life valuing time at the price of a substitutable activity. Spearman rank correlations and multivariable linear regression were used to explore relationships with last year of life costs. Setting/participants: Adult national survey respondents – England. Results: A total of 7997 adults were interviewed from 5767/9612 (60%) of invited households. Estimated replacement costs of personal care and other help were £27,072 and £13,697 per carer and a national cost of £13.2 billion and £15.5 billion respectively. Longer care duration and intensity, older age, death at home (lived together), non-cancer cause of death and greater deprivation were associated with increased costs. Female sex, and not accessing ‘other care services’ were related to higher costs for other help only. Conclusion: We provide a first adult general population estimate for replacement informal care costs in the last year of life of £41,000 per carer per decedent and highlight characteristics associated with greater costs. This presents a major challenge for future universal care coverage as the pool of people providing informal care diminish with an ageing population.


Johnson, M. J., Currow, D. C., Chynoweth, J., Weatherly, H., Keser, G., Hutchinson, A., …Allgar, V. (2024). The cost of providing care by family and friends (informal care) in the last year of life: A population observational study. Palliative medicine,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 19, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 22, 2024
Publication Date 2024
Deposit Date May 21, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 27, 2024
Journal Palliative Medicine
Print ISSN 0269-2163
Electronic ISSN 1477-030X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Caregivers; Informal carers; End-of-life; Costs and cost analysis; Survey
Public URL


Accepted manuscript (383 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2024 The Author(s).

You might also like

Downloadable Citations