All About Estates

(Financial) Cost of Providing (Unpaid) Care

After enjoying Family Day and acknowledging the importance of family, I wanted to share with you some of the latest statistics on the “Value of Family Caregiving in Canada” published February 2022.  Recognition goes to the University of Alberta Research on Aging, Policies and Practice (RAPP) and is based on analyses of Statistics Canada’s 2018 General Social Survey on Caregiving and Care Receiving.

We know that 1 in 4 Canadians are providing unpaid care to a family member or friend.  In 2018, there were over 7.8 million Canadian caregivers.  Together they provided 5.7 billion hours of unpaid care.  The “annual economic value of family care work is $97.1 billion.”   This means that it would take 2.8 million full time equivalent workers to replace the unpaid hours provided by family.

Let’s break this down. In December 2021, RAPP published “Caregivers in Alberta: economic costs and contributions”.  They found that 1 in 4 Albertans (aged 15 plus) is a caregiver.

  • 68% spent 9 hours or less per week providing care to family or a friend
  • 10% spent between 10-19 hours per week and
  • 22% of the 929,000 Albertan carers spent over 20 hours per week providing care.

Fifty one percent of employed Albertan carers missed on average 6.5 days per year due to caregiving demands.  Fourteen percent had to reduce their paid work and 5% left the labour force due to conflicting care/work demands.

In May 2020, RAPP researched “Caregivers in Quebec: economic costs and contributions” and found over 1 in 4 Quebec residents age 15 and older is a caregiver.

-76% of Quebecers carers spent under 9 hours per week

-11% spent between 10-19 hours per week and

-12% spent twenty hours plus per week.

Forty three percent of employed Quebecers missed on average 6 days per year due to caregiving demands.   Fourteen percent reduced their paid work hours and 9% left the work force.

In January 2020 RAPP provided “Caregivers in Nova Scotia: economic costs and contributions” and found 1 in 3 Nova Scotians are caregivers.

-72% of Nova Scotians spent under 9 hours per week

-10% spent 10-19 hours per week

-18% spent twenty hours plus per week.

There is a great cost of providing unpaid care, both emotionally and financially. It can definitely be rewarding; however it can also be very challenging and frequently can cause poor health  and financial hardship to caring families.








About Audrey Miller
About: Audrey Miller, Managing Director of Elder Caring Inc. has over 30 years social work and rehabilitation experience working with older individuals and their families. She advises the financial, insurance, legal and business communities regarding elder care issues. Audrey is a recognized expert in her field. Email:


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