Family members have long played a crucial role in senior care, and while that’s still the case, the number of loved ones available to provide support to their aging relatives has begun to dwindle. A recent report from the American Association of Retired Persons’ Public Policy Institute found that the number of adults who can care for their parents or grandparents will shrink considerably in just over a decade.
Many contributing factors
Among the most startling results is that in 2010, there were 7 individuals of caregiving age available for each adult 80 and older. By 2030, this ratio will drop to about 4:1, and by 2050 it will sink even further to roughly 3:1. Analysts say there is a variety of reasons for this dip, but one of the most significant is that the number of adults 80 and older is continuing to grow due to the size of the baby boomer population and the fact that people are living longer than ever before. While the statistics are focused on the American population, the impending crisis should encourage adults all around North America to revisit their senior care strategy, experts say.
“What these numbers tell us is that relying on family and friends to provide long-term care may be unrealistic in the future,” Lynn Feinberg, a senior strategic policy adviser at AARP, told The New York Times.
Early planning is essential
The results of the study highlight advice that seniors would be wise to pay attention to – start planning for services and supports as early as possible. Discussing care options before they become necessary can be particularly helpful once any issues arrive, the Mayo Clinic notes. Part of this planning process includes going over the variety of options at your disposal, including retirement living.
There is a variety of factors to consider during this process, according to the Mayo Clinic. Everything from personal preferences to your financial situation plays a part, and getting the ball rolling as soon as possible is essential.