Baby Boomers (those born between 1946–1964) are retiring at a record pace: an average of 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 each day, and this trend is expected to continue for the next 20 years.1 As these Baby Boomers enter retirement and live longer, a greater number of adult children are taking on roles as caregivers.
Each year, about 40 million Americans provide unpaid care for adults with a chronic, disabling, or otherwise serious health condition.2 This group functions as a crucial and often invisible support system for many Baby Boomers, whether they are aging in place in their homes or in other long-term care settings.
Eldercare can involve a range of responsibilities, from assisting with daily living activities (eating, bathing, dressing, and toileting) to household tasks (like cleaning and laundry). Arranging and coordinating care—from financial needs to health care and medical services—also take up a significant amount of time for caregivers.
Along with the physically demanding tasks, caring for a loved one can often be emotionally burdensome, leading to stress and anxiety. While 48% of caregivers reported being in excellent or very good health, 17% of caregivers said their health was fair or poor. And the longer a caregiver is providing care, the likelihood of their health deteriorating increases. When asked about the impact that caregiving has had on their health, 22 percent of caregivers feel their health has gotten worse as a result of caregiving.3
Caregivers: By The Numbers
Just like when airline safety videos tell you to put your own mask on first before helping others, taking care of yourself first is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. Here are some ways you can prioritize self-care as a caregiver:
Studies show that half of caregivers say they had no choice in taking on the role of a caregiver.3 And oftentimes, a lack of planning is a likely reason that so many aging adults come to rely on their family members as they age.
So what does eldercare look like for you? Here are some questions to consider:
Creating and maintaining a written financial plan can provide comfort in knowing that your long-term care needs will be met. Knowing that there is a strategy in place they can rely on will also give your family members and loved ones valuable peace of mind. We encourage you to speak with your advisor about how we can support you with your long-term care planning and caregiving duties.
Want to learn more about long-term care? Consider these other resources:
1 “Do 10,000 baby boomers retire every day?” The Washington Post, 7/24/2014.
2 “Millennials: The Emerging Generation of Family Caregivers,” AARP Public Policy Institute, May 2018.
3 National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP Public Policy Institute, Caregiving in the U.S. 2015.
4 “Record 64 Million Americans Live in Multigenerational Households,” Pew Research Center, 4/5/2018.
5 “Medicare, Medicaid and Long-Term Care: Your Questions Answered,” Forbes, 11/21/2017.
6 AARP Research, Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs: 2016, November 2016.
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