Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shortage of Caregivers will Affect Baby Boomers in the Future

More than two-thirds of Americans believe they will be able to rely on their families to meet their long-term care needs. According to a recent AARP study, however, if you are a baby boomer, even though you may be supporting your own elderly parents, the chances of someone being there for you are numerically diminished.

The study, “The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap,” determined that two decades from now, there will be far fewer caregivers available and more need for them. In fact, the ratio of potential caregivers to boomers needing care will sink from 7.2 to 1 in 2010 to 2.9 to 1 by 2050, according to the study.

The problem, as researchers have defined it, stems from a combination of factors, including the large number of baby boomers and the fact that boomers had relatively fewer children than earlier generations. Women in particular will be affected, because they typically live longer, but men have been catching up, the report said. The high rate of divorce among baby boomers, and the fact that one in three is unmarried, exacerbates the problem, combined with rising levels of obesity even as longevity increases.

There are currently 42.1 million adults in the United States caring for friends or family members. Nearly two-thirds of those caregivers are women, and more than 80 percent of the people they care for are over 50. Unpaid care in recent years was estimated to be worth the equivalent of $450 billion in 2009, more than the cost of Medicaid and approaching the cost of Medicare. To make up for this, the country needs policies that will provide for better support for caregivers and more affordable options for home care, the report said. A federal commission on long-term care is expected to come up with recommendations this fall.

Given the trends described in the report, it is now more important than ever to plan for your future and for your loved ones. If you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), or if you have a loved one who is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care, call The Fairfax Medicaid Asset Protection Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

1 comment:

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