“Some 40 million Americans give daily help to a parent, grandparent, relative or neighbor, assisting with basic things like dressing, bathing, cooking, medications or transportation” A noble task that is rarely awarded and recognized. A growing issues in our country and soon a solution will be needed.
“Every day, they help a parent, grandparent, relative or neighbor with basic needs: dressing, bathing, cooking, medications or transportation. Often, they do some or all of this while working, parenting, or both. And we — as doctors, employers, friends and extended family — aren’t doing enough to help them.
According to AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, the typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman caring for an older relative — but nearly a quarter of caregivers are now millennials and are equally likely to be male or female. About one-third of caregivers have a full-time job, and 25 percent work part time. A third provide more than 21 hours of care per week. Family caregivers are, of course, generally unpaid, but the economic value of their care is estimated at $470 billion a year — roughly the annual American spending on Medicaid.
A recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine suggests that society’s reliance on this “work force” — largely taken for granted — is unsustainable. While the demand for caregivers is growing because of longer life expectancies and more complex medical care, the supply is shrinking, a result of declining marriage rates, smaller family sizes and greater geographic separation. In 2015, there were seven potential family caregivers for every person over 80. By 2030, this ratio is expected to be four-to-one, and by 2050, there will be fewer than three potential caregivers for every older American.”
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