Study: Calif. Caregivers Provided $57B in Unpaid Care in 2013
The estimate was based on caregivers providing an average of 18 hours of care per week valued at about $12.51 per hour. The value was calculated using median home health aide wage data.
The study found that the value of unpaid family care increased from $450 billion in 2009.
Susan Reinhard, senior vice president and director of AARP's Public Policy Institute, said the increase was a "conservative estimate."
According to Reinhard, the increase can be attributed in part to family caregivers taking on more complicated tasks, such as providing medical care.
Meanwhile, the study found that:
- More than 50% of caregivers said they were overwhelmed by the amount of care provided; and
- 38% of caregivers said they felt some financial strain from providing such care.
The study also noted that about two-thirds of respondents were working full- or part-time jobs while serving as caregivers (Grant, CNBC, 7/16).
In California, about 4.5 million state residents served as family caregivers in 2013, providing about 4.1 billion hours of care valued at $57 billion (AARP release, 7/16). That equates to an hourly wage of $13.94 (AARP study, July 2015).
AARP California Advocacy Director Blanca Castro said, "This new report demonstrates that we need to do more to assist the millions of family caregivers in our state."
Castro added that the findings support the need for the state Legislature to pass the California Caregiver Act of 2015 (ACR 38), which would create a task force to "fin[d] solutions for how to effectively link family caregivers with resources and programs in their community ... and issu[e] specific recommendations to the California Legislature to improve access to services and supports for the 4 million unpaid family caregivers in our state" (AARP release, 7/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.