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Family Caregivers in Californians Provide $81 Billion in Unpaid Care to Loved Ones


March 8, 2023

Mark Beach

Family Caregivers in Californians Provide $81 Billion in Unpaid Care to Loved Ones

Latest AARP research estimates $81 billion value for the estimated 4.1 billion hours of unpaid care that family caregivers provided in 2021.

SACRAMENTO — The unpaid care provided by the 4.1 million family caregivers in California is valued at $81 billion annually, according to new state data available in AARP’s latest report in the Valuing the Invaluable series. This is an $18 billion increase in unpaid contributions since 2019, the most recent year the report was released. The report highlights the growing scope and complexity of family caregiving and highlights actions needed to address the many challenges of caring for parents, spouses, and other loved ones.

“Family caregivers play a vital role in California’s health care system, whether they care for someone at home, coordinate home health care, or help care for someone who lives in a nursing home,” said Nancy McPherson, AARP California state director. “We must ensure that all family caregivers have the financial, emotional, and social support they need, because the care they provide is invaluable both to those receiving it and to their communities.”

AARP California (AARPCA) advocates in support of family caregivers and the loved ones who depend on them for care. For example, in 2020, AARPCA helped pass California Senate Bill 1383 (Jackson), which expanded paid family leave to include employees in firms with five or more employees.  In 2022, AARPCA supported AB 1041 (Wicks), which enabled “family-of-choice” caregivers to take job-protected (unpaid) time off to care for a loved one who is sick or has a serious illness.

This year, AARPCA is supporting Assembly Bill 518 (Wicks), which expands upon AB 1041 by allowing family-of-choice caregivers to take job-protected, paid time off to care for a loved one with a serious illness under the paid family leave program. This year, AARPCA is also urging the state legislature to pass SB 616 (Gonzalez), which expands paid sick leave to seven days from the current three days.  California’s paid sick leave program allows family caregivers to also take paid, job-protected time off to care for a loved one with an illness or who is dealing with a domestic violence situation.

Read the full report for national and state-by-state data on the economic value of unpaid care by family and friends.

Resources and information on family caregiving are available at


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