Family and friend caregivers have a major impact on the health and well-being of older adults and people with disabilities. An older adult turning 65 today has been estimated to have a 70 percent chance of requiring long-term care in their remaining years. As older Americans develop more chronic health conditions and their functional abilities decline, they must depend on others to help them continue to live independently, whether they are paid caregivers, family and friend caregivers, or both. According to 2020 California Health Interview Survey data, the majority of these caregivers are not paid for the care they provide. Only about 1 in 11 report that they have been paid for any of their caregiving hours. Fewer than 1% of California family and friend caregivers reported using employment-based leave benefits to support their caregiving responsibilities in 2020. Information about the extent and variation of paid and unpaid caregiving among family and friend caregivers can help inform policy decisions to promote equitable caregiver support programs and resources, which may in turn improve outcomes for older adults and people with disabilities.
This indicator provides data on paid and unpaid family and friend caregivers: Adults age 18 or older who provided care within the past 12 months to a family member or friend with a serious or chronic illness or disability. “Paid Caregivers” include family and friend caregivers who indicated that they received payment for any (though not necessarily all) of the care they provided within the past 12 months to a family member or friend with a serious or chronic illness or disability. Payment could come from any source, including a public program, a family member, or directly from the care recipient. “Unpaid Caregivers” received no payment for the care they provided within the past 12 months to a family member of friend with a serious or chronic illness or disability.
Check out the Caregiving that Works Goal Page to explore dynamic visualizations and view more detailed data related to this topic. In addition, check out the Health Reimagined Goal Page to explore dynamic visualizations and view more detailed data related to the routine and personal care needs of older adults and people with disabilities.
To learn more about our data sources and methodologies, please see the Data Dashboard for Aging - About the Data Technical Guide.