Will There Be a Caregiver Shortage in Decades to Come?

With millions of baby boomers on the verge of their senior years, a new report from the AARP suggests that there will likely be a drastic shortage of caregivers by 2026, when the first boomers become 80. This includes both unpaid family caregivers and paid caregivers, i.e., home care aides and home care professionals.

We mentioned this probable shortage in a previous post, but this new report shows some statistics that should have us all thinking about the future of caregiving.

Here are some key points from the report:

  • In 2010, for every person age 80 or over there were 7.2 people of prime caregiving age (45-64). By 2030, there’s projected to be just 4.1 people of prime caregiving age in ratio to those 80-plus. This ratio drops to 2.9 by 2050.
  • In 2010, more than half of seniors aged 80 and older suffered from a severe disability. Upwards of 30 percent of the elderly needed ADL help, whether that was bathing, using the toilet, cooking, eating, etc. Will this trend continue in decades to come? It’s hard to make an exact prediction, but it’s safe to assume the answer will be a “yes.”
  • In 2010, there were 78 million baby boomers. There were only 11 million people aged 80 and over in 2010. By 2030, the elderly population is projected to reach 20 million and 34 million by 2050.
  • Conversely, there were 82 million people aged 45-64 in 2010. That number is projected to be about the same in 2030 and rise to 99 million in 2050.
  • The number of frail older people, those 65-plus who live with a disability, is projected to grow from 11 million in 2010 to 18 million in 2030.

If there one’s one big takeaway from the report, it’s that many boomers and their children will be unprepared as they reach old age and are in need of long-term care–and that we’re very likely headed for a caregiver shortage some time in the near future.

If you’re over the age of 50, it’s never too early to start planning for end-of-life care. And remember, help and advice is always available from a senior care agency.

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!

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