"The Scan Foundation, a California based nonprofit focused on long-term care for older adults, found that more than two-thirds of Americans who are 40 or older expect to rely on their families to help meet their needs."
Kelly Greene, a regular contrubutor to the Wall Street Journal on issues of aging wrote last week that "The number of potential caregivers available for every person who is at least 80 years old is expected to plummet by 2030 as the older population outpaces the number of younger Americans..."
Greene cited new research by AARP, the Washington advocacy group for older adults that indicates fewer people will be available to take care of elderly relatives, adding to the pressure on younger family members.
"There are going to be enormous increases in the stress level on those caregivers with less backup and more complications, including higher rates of divorce, in boomer families," says Don Redfoot, a senior strategic-policy adviser at AARP.
The ratio of people in the most common caregiving age group (45 to 64) to those most likely to need long-term care (80 and over) is expected to fall to 4 to 1 by 2030—compared with more than 7 to 1 in 2010, AARP says.
By 2050, the ratio could drop to less than 3 to 1.
Families are increasingly doing the hard work themselves. Institutional use of long-term care fell by 37% from 1984 to 2004, while the number of older people living on their own or in assisted-living facilities who needed help with two or more daily living activities climbed by two-thirds, according to AARP.
The Scan Foundation, a California based nonprofit focused on long-term care for older adults, found that more than two-thirds of Americans who are 40 or older expect to rely on their families to help meet their needs.
Family caregivers provided unpaid contributions valued at about $450 billion in unpaid care as of 2009, up from $375 billion in 2007, according to AARP. While that can mean great savings for families, it can come at a big cost.
Informal caregivers find competing demands between caring for loved ones and work. And often they end up cutting back themselves to help make ends meet.
The typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who works while also spending about 20 hours a week providing unpaid care to her mother for nearly five years, according to AARP.
Caregivers spend $8,080 a year on average on out-of-pocket expenses, with one-third providing 30 or more hours of care each week, according to recent research from Genworth Financial, a large long-term-care insurer.
Just over half of caregivers cut discretionary spending, such as dining out, to help cover those expenses. Almost one-third of care recipients cut back on more basic needs, such as groceries.
"Why Baby Boomers Are Facing A Caregiver Shortage" http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2013/08/28/why-baby-boomers-are-facing-a-caregiver-shortage/
"Eldercare In An Age of Scarcity: Who Will Care and Who Will Pay is sponsored by Informed Eldercare Decisions, LLC
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