In 2020, there were an estimated 6.7 million people who were family and friend caregivers in California alone.
Nearly 1 in 4 provided 20 or more hours of care to a family member or friend with a serious or chronic illness or disability in a typical week and yet only 1 in 12 reported having been paid for any of these caregiving hours.
Using data from the 2020 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), researchers at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) shed light on caregivers’ demographic profiles, financial concerns, and physical and mental health issues.
On December 1, 2021, Kathryn Kietzman, PhD, director of the Health Disparities Program and senior research scientist at UCLA CHPR, and Sean Tan, MPP, senior public administration analyst at UCLA CHPR, highlighted the role of caregivers as the backbone of the long-term care system. Researchers walked through findings of their new policy brief, sharing demographic profiles of California caregivers, as well as characteristics of individuals they are providing care to.
The presentation unveiled the hidden costs of caregiving, for instance, the hours associated with caregiving, much of which are not financially compensated for, as well as missed opportunities for educational or career advancement. Researchers highlighted the financial and physical and mental health toll that caregivers experience as well as the disparities that exist across these health factors.