Studies show that by 2050 the portion of the population aged 65 and over will be more than double the current level. This is primarily due to the aging baby boomer generation who is reaching retirement age at about 10,000 individuals per day. When it comes to taking care of the elderly families, more and more people are saying that eldercare will impact their daily lives.
According to the AARP, about 42 percent of workers in the United States provided unpaid eldercare to a family member or close friend within the last five years. That same report says that about 49 percent of people expect to do the same in the upcoming five years. Many of these unpaid workers are children of elderly parents. These children can incur significant financial hardship when they take time off to care for elderly parents.
The recent AARP study also shows that the average unpaid caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who also works an out-of-the-home job. The average caregiver will spend about 20 hours per week providing unpaid care. 39% of these workers self-report that they are not able to meet additional responsibilities and their work performance or career goals have suffered.
The financial impact of those providing elder care can also be more significant than missed opportunities. Some children are finding that they have to leave their jobs to dedicate themselves fully to caring for an elderly family member. Others find that they have reduced wages because of their reduced number of days or hours worked or have missed advancement opportunities.
Unfortunaely, what is little known by many families struggling with elder care costs are that there are public benefit programs that can assist with the payment of such care either at home or in a care facility. Elder law firms frequently regularly assist families in educating them of their options and helping them obtain these valuable benefits.
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