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2021 Health Policy Seminar Series | "Who Is Caring? How Are They Faring? A Look at Family and Friend Caregivers in California"

2021 Health Policy Seminar Series | "Who Is Caring? How Are They Faring? A Look at Family and Friend Caregivers in California"

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Virtual via Zoom
Kathryn Kietzman, PhD, Director of the Health Disparities Program
Sean Tan, MPP, Senior Public Administration Analyst
Event Contact 
Tiffany Lopes
(310) 794-0930

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. Statewide population-level data that captures the experience and consequences of caregiving is limited. Using data from the 2020 California Health Interview Survey, researchers at FSPH's UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shed light on caregivers’ demographic profiles, financial concerns, and physical and mental health issues.

Dr. Kathryn Kietzman, director of the Health Disparities Program, and Sean Tan, senior public administration analyst, will highlight the role of caregivers as the backbone of the long-term care system, and walk 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 will also unveil 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 will highlight the financial and physical and mental health toll that caregivers experience as well as the disparities that exist across these health factors.

In addition to outlining the financial, physical, mental, and emotional factors associated with caregiving, researchers will discuss some of California’s policies that support caregivers, and propose different policy recommendations or solutions to improve conditions for family caregivers who are providing vital, life-supporting care. These proposed solutions may be used by policymakers, program creators, and other community-support organizations to address issues of caregivers across California and beyond.

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