Approximately 40 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult aged 50 and older. This unpaid workforce is valued at about $470 billion annually and credited with potentially improving the quality of care and health outcomes among cared for relatives. However, there is significant personal and economic toll on family caregivers, including difficulties managing other responsibilities at work and home, and loss of wages.

This fact sheet sheds light on how vital family caregivers are to the U.S. health care workforce and economy, and outlines examples of how some states are developing initiatives to better support these individuals. These state initiatives are being developed as part of Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America, a national initiative led by the Center for Health Care Strategies with funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation, Milbank Memorial Fund, the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. See also the companion infographic, State Opportunities to Support Family Caregivers.