The Baby Boomer Caregiver Shortage

By August 22, 2014Caregiving

My name is Marlana and I am a Baby Boomer born in 1962. While worrying about work, home, and caring for my 72 year old father and my 94 year old grandmother, I’m at told that  I need to worry about who will one day care for me in my later years.

For those of us who thought we would be able to rely on our children, cousins or close friends as caregivers in our later years,  we may be in for a big shock according to an AARP report .

According to estimates by AARP, we can expect a sharp decline in the ratio of caregivers to care recipients, especially in the United States .  AARP says currently,  there are about 7 people aged 45-64 years of age to care for each person who is 80 years or older.  By 2030, there will be only 4 and by 2050 there will be fewer than 3. One reason for this shortage is the number of  children  of Baby Boomers who represent Generation X. There are only 45 million Generation X adults compared to the 77 million Baby Boomers. The oldest Generation X adult  turns 49 in 2014.

This ratio isn’t the only factor to consider.  Many of the children of Baby Boomers are in a less optimum situation for providing care.  Many are starting their families later and taking longer to establish their careers, and in many cases are less able to take extended time off to care for their elderly relatives.

What can we do to address this situation?  Although,  we don’t  like to dwell upon the possibility of future physical or cognitive challenges, It is something that should be considered.  Even the healthiest person can face health issues down the road, and there are a few things to consider.

1. Are your financial affairs in order?
2. Would long-term insurance be a good choice?
3. Learn about Medicare, Social Security, and the other benefits to which you are entitled.
4. Talk to your family about plans for future care.

This topic may not be at the top of my to-do list, but  I realize that if nature plays out as it should,  I will need to put a plan in motion now so there’s no question about who will look after me in my golden years.

For more information on the caregiver shortage please visit AARP Public Policy Institute at  www.aarp.org/research/ppi/

The staff at The Wesley Communities is available to assist you and your family with questions regarding your future needs.  We offer many long term living services, including assisted living, independent living as well as at home services provided by Wesley At Home, if remaining in your own home is an option.  Please give us a call at 614-396-4990 with questions or to arrange a tour of our facilities, or go to  http://www.methodisteldercare.org/contact

Leave a Reply