Top Five Caregiving Concerns for Boomers
There are two certainties in life. Death and Taxes. It is the uncertainties that are causing Americans so much insidious distress. Top on the list for Baby Boomer-aged Americans are the cost and consequences of caregiving.
1) Where will the money come from?
The Pew Center for Research describes the economic reality of being a member of the sandwich generation today. Forty seven percent of adults in their 40s and 50s that are are raising children have a parent over the age of 65. About one in seven of this group are providing financial support to both generations. Who among us has enough ‘bread’ to sustain this sandwich. Credit cards, home equity loans, savings accounts are called upon to bridge the gap between these expanding needs and limited resources.
2) What does insurance cover?
The safety nets of the Social Security Act Title XX, signed into law 40 years ago, have pretty much faded away with all the other competing economic demands. While social policy rarely makes its way into polite dinner conversation, this lack of attention to shoring up community based programs is now a shock to many Baby Boomers. Take a quick tour of this link for Medicare.gov for a menu of the programs available for the aged and disabled needing care from registered nurses, therapists and hospital based physician care. MIssing from the Medicare is coverage for the kind of community based services and caregiver support Boomers need everyday.
3) Complicated family trees
Demographics paint a frightening picture when it comes to caregiving. Today there are three potential caregivers for each person requiring care. That ratio declines significantly to 1.7 caregivers for each person needing help by year 2030. The divorce rate among Boomers topped 50% in the past five years. That means more that ⅓ of all Boomers are divorced, never married or widowed. Changing social norms have created a web rather than tree structure of families today. Boomers are caring for parents, in-laws, step-parents and unattached elderly relatives simultaneously.
4) Home is where the heart is.
Harvard and AARP released a comprehensive study on the financial realities of housing for senior adults. The reports highlights the indicators that affect cost and location of caregivers. Baby Boomers today are saddled with the highest debt of any previous generation as they approach their own retirement. So the family home now represents an economic drain including mortgage, taxes, utilities and insurance not to mention the prospects of home modifications to accommodate physical disabilities and aging. Home equity is the bright spot as Boomer face retirement as late career advancement declines.
5) Caregivers struggle to find answers.
Unfortunately aging doesn’t happen in the same neat and tidy sequence like raising children. Many Boomers begin the caregiving journey seeking answers from Dr. Google. Missing from all of the health advice on the web is a road map because each caregiving journey follow its own path. Pew Research on caregiving reveals that 46% family members are performing skilled nursing duties with little training. Many complicated legal, financial, medical and social issues plague the sandwich generation.
We are here to remove the uncertainties this caregiving journey. Join us at REUNIONCare.com and create a free personalized Circle of Care around your loved one. We are here for you.