Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Demand for care to outgrow supply of family caregivers, report shows

Recently, AARP published a report that painted a striking picture about the future of care, family caregivers,  and the widening gap between supply and demand.
The report defines and calculate  a “caregiver support ratio” to estimate the number of family caregivers over the next few decades for each person aged 80 and over.. Not surprisingly, the report estimates a higher demand for care than supply of caregivers available. Main findings include:
  • In 2010, the caregiver support ratio was more than 7 potential caregivers for every person in the high-risk years of 80-plus.
  • By 2030, the ratio is projected to decline sharply to 4 to 1; and it is expected to further fall to less than 3 to 1 in 2050, when all boomers will be in the high-risk years of late life
AARP attributes these estimates to a few factors. First, the cohort of those most needing long term services and supports (LTSS) –those 80 years and older – is expected to grow substantially during the next 20 years. Second, the number of people in prime caregiving age – 45 - 64 years – will largely remain flat because of changing family size and composition.   The end result is a low number of family members that will be able to coordinate and provide care to a high number of aging family members. AARP predicts this problem to exacerbate further as family caregivers age themselves.
What do you think about the future of family caregiving? Leave a comment in the section below.

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