A recent report on the blog of the AARP reports on a problem that will sound familiar to a growing number of Americans. Nearly 24 million workers are holding down paying jobs while at the same serving as family caregivers – and that combination is a sure prescription for stress, fatigue and uncertainty.
You can read the article by clicking here.
At a time when serving as a caregiver to an adult relative (especially an aging parent) is growing more and more complex, research suggests that employed caregivers also feel increasing stress at work, with less and less job security. These studies also show that parents caring for children at home have far more workplace flexibility than workers caring for older family members. Some caregivers even suggest they have experienced workplace discrimination, which according to an AARP research report from 2012, is not prohibited by most federal and state employment laws.
The AARP blog article cites a study entitled Caregiving in the United States 2015 which states that 60% of family caregivers are also employed, and that most of these “working caregivers” (nearly two-thirds) are caring for a relative 65 years old or older. What’s more telling is that half of these employed caregivers are themselves 50 years old or older – which means they are already experiencing the challenges of being an older worker in today’s high-stress, increasingly insecure workplace.
There are two chief take-aways from these articles. The first, in the words of the AARP blog: “As the U.S. population rapidly ages, the need to support workers with family caregiving responsibilities will grow.” In other words, legislation to give caregivers increased measures of employment security and, when necessary, paid time off are deserving of support.
The second point is more concerning: as the population ages, “we’re facing a caregiving cliff,” said Dr. Susan Reinhard, AARP Public Policy expert. “By mid-century, there will only be three caregivers available for each person requiring care.” As today’s baby boomers age, there may not be enough people able to care for them. “That means,” says AARP’s Reinhard, “we need to provide support for existing caregivers who are underserved” by current services. In other words, we had better be planning now for the caregiving needs of the not-too-distant future.
Planning for the future is the centerpiece of our activities here at AgingOptions, and that includes planning for your future care needs. By making all the necessary preparations, you can successfully avoid becoming a burden to your loved ones as you age, and also avoid being forced into unplanned institutional care. We’ll help you explore all your caregiving options and your living choices. We’ll also advise you on the best ways to communicate with your own family members to help them better understand your wishes as you age. What’s more, together we’ll explore ways to prudently set aside assets today that can help pay your caregiving expenses tomorrow.
It’s all part of a LifePlan – our name for a fully-developed, individualized retirement plan that takes all your needs into account. If you’re ready to start creating your own LifePlan, we can help. The best way to start is to attend one of our free LifePlanning Seminars – popular, information-packed sessions held in various locations throughout the area. Click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website for dates, and free online registration. It will be a pleasure working with you as together we plan your ideal future.
(originally reported at http://blog.aarp.org)