Cost of Adult Children Caring for Aging Parents is Staggering
Source: The Mercury
According to a recent study by MetLife, nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 years are caring for aging parents. Also according to the study, these adult children caregivers are losing almost $3 trillion in lost wages, pension and Social Security benefits in the aggregate due to their caregiving efforts.
This study, The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers: Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring for Their Parents, was reported in Elder Law Answers (www.elderlawanswers.com).
The key findings of this study are staggering in scope when all of the data is presented. The percentage of adult children providing personal care and/or financial assistance to parents has tripled over the last 15 years. These family caregivers are aging themselves, and also should be planning, and saving, for their own retirements.
It is estimated that a quarter of adult children, mainly baby boomers, provide basic care or financial assistance to their parents.
Adult children, who are 50 years old and older and working, are more likely to have fair or poor health than those who do not provide care to parents. It is an fairly equal chance that working and non-working adult children are providing care to parents in need.
The dramatic rise in the number of adult children providing care is documented by the statistics that in 1994, only 9 percent of women, and 3 percent of men were providing care to parents. By 2008, women caregivers had more than tripled to 28 percent, while the figure for men had quintupled to 17 percent.
Daughters were more likely to provide "basic" care such as help with dressing, feeding, and bathing. Sons were more likely to provide financial assistance. The study authors note that "undoubtedly, the impact of the aging population has resulted in increased need within families for family caregiving support."
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