A Caregiver Crisis?

There’s been a lot in the news lately about an impending “caregiver crisis”. What is this crisis and why are we going to have it? Basically, the caregiver crisis refers to the fact that in the foreseeable future we’re going to have more people needing caregivers than the number of caregivers that will be available. According to a report by the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, there will be a need for 1.6 million more direct-care workers in 2020 than were needed in 2010. That’s a whopping increase of 48 percent. The AARP corroborates this statistic. It estimates that currently there are 7 people aged 45-64 available as caregivers for anyone who is 80 years old or older. By 2030 there will only be 4 people available. There will soon be more of us needing help with fewer family members or “informal” caregivers available to give it.

Why is this happening? The major cause is the change in population demographics. According to AARP, women who were in their early 80’s in 2010 had an average of 3 children. By 2030 that average will be down to 2. There will be fewer younger people to take care of the older ones with more than 8,000 Americans turning 65 every day. With this in mind, the Weinberg Foundation predicts that by 2020, the United States will need more caregivers than either law enforcement professionals or teachers. The demographics of family members now often living long distances from each other also increases the need for paid caregivers. The close knit family with grandma or grandpa living with immediate family no longer is the norm. The days of the “Waltons” are over.

Changes in healthcare have also played a role in this crisis. People are being discharged from hospitals sooner and sooner, often with complicated care needs. As a result, families bear more and more responsibility for caring for family members recovering from serious illnesses or living with chronic health concerns. Advances in health care mean that we are living longer and caregiving is no longer a short-term process but rather something that can last decades. Are you prepared to deal with this impending disaster? Share below and visit us at http://www.trilliumhomecare.com

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Filed under Aging in Place, Caregiver, Home Care, Senior Care, Trillium HomeCare

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