Generation Changes to Impact Caregivers

Caregiver

Forecast: Far Fewer Caregivers Per Senior by 2030

According to a recent report released by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the number of potential caregivers for seniors in the United States is predicted to decrease considerably in the upcoming years. As being referred to as “the 2030 problem”. During this time the caregiver support ratio (the number of potential caregivers between the ages of 45 and 64, for each person aged 80 and older) is forecast to fall from seven potential caregivers for each person to four.

“Family caregivers—including family members, partners, or close friends—are a key factor in the ability to remain in one’s home and in the community when disability strikes,” says the AARP Public Policy Institute in the report. More than two-thirds of Americans believe that they will be able to rely on their families when they require long-term help. However, this belief may collide with the reality that the availability of family caregivers is shrinking.

As the Baby Boomer generation departs from the peak caregiving years, it will result in a caregiver shortage. This will happen because the population aged 45–64 is projected to increase by only 1 percent between 2010 and 2030. During the same period, the 80-plus population is projected to increase by a whopping 79 percent.”

The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) also concludes the impending “Silver Tsunami,” along with a growing Alzheimer’s epidemic, and the future shortage of potential caregivers all point to an obvious increased need for long-term care services.

The generation statistics in the AARP report indicate if there will be fewer younger family members and friends to provide everyday assistance to the growing numbers of older people. This means more seniors will likely need institutional care. More long-term care assisted-living facilities will be required in the near future. More solutions for caring for the elderly will be needed.

With the caregiver shortage, many will face emotional and physical strains. Seniors who cannot afford long-term care will feel stressed and stuck with no where to turn. Family and friend caregivers may experience emotional and physical strain.  Caregivers will face the demands of work and caregiving. Financial hardships on the caregiver can be expected to increase. This will occur simply because the caregiver may have to bear the burden alone.

But there’s good news: the senior care industry and the United States government (The Commission on Long-Term Care) are aware of the situation and are developing plans to ensure the availability of long-term services and supports for individuals in need.

“The challenges that face us are real,” the AARP report concludes. However, they are not impossible to fix. If we begin now, we can lay the foundation for a better system of long-term care and family support for the future.

If you’re seeking senior living alternatives for yourself or a senior loved one, be sure to take advantage of the helpful checklists provided at AlternativesforSeniors.com.

To begin your search for a senior apartment or an independent-living, assisted-living, or other continuing-care community, visit AlternativesforSeniors.com. You can also call (888) WE-ASSIST for free personalized help finding senior housing in your area.

 

BLOG Date: September 4, 2013

Writer: Ryan Allen