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Navigating the Caregiving Boom

By April 28, 2016Archives
A young hand holding an elderly pair of hands

Baby Boomers are caring for their aging parents. People are living longer, much longer, and that means that caregivers can remain in that role well into their 60s and in some cases, their 70s. But who is going to care for the Baby Boomers? The largest generation ever seen in the United States (before the Millennials came along) is now turning 60; they can see they day when they are going to need care and support.

Recent statistics show that in 2010, every person over the age of 80 had an average of seven caregivers. By 2030, that is expected to fall to 4 caregivers for every 1 person and 3 caregivers for every 1 person by 2050. Put another way, some 117 million Americans are expected to need care giving assistance by 2020, yet the number of caregivers is only expected to reach 50 million (45 million unpaid, 5 million paid).

Baby Boomers will age into their 80s beginning in 2026. In other words, just when the largest generation ever is entering their 80s, the number of available caregivers will be nearly half of what it is now.

Here are the two sides of that coin:

  • As Baby Boomers continue to retire and need more care, there is less care to be had.
  • This creates enormous job opportunities for caregivers.

When surveyed, Baby Boomers say that they believe family members will be able to care for them in their old age. This is, of course, key to seniors’ ability to age in place and remain in their homes. It also greatly reduces the costs of senior care for the healthcare system at large and community health systems. However, family members are aging as well, and their population numbers are smaller than that of baby boomers.

Therefore, the assumption that family members will be caregivers may not hold true and statistics seem to support that:

  • The 80-plus population is projected to increase by 44 percent between 2030 and 2040
  • The number of caregivers aged 45–64 is projected to increase only 10 percent
  • In the 2040s, the population aged 80-plus is projected to increase 17 percent
  • The 45–64 caregiver population increases 8 percent

That brings us back to the two sides of the coin- this rather sullen picture of future caregiving is actually a watershed opportunity for those looking to enter the healthcare field. The caregiving market is poised to grow 13 percent over the next four years, to a cumulative total of $279 billion, and expected to reach $72 billion in 2020 alone.

LivHOME offers many opportunities for professional caregivers in home and skilled care settings. Our job is to support seniors in a way that provides a high quality of life through good health, happiness and engagement in daily activities.

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