Americans should anticipate a huge shortage of caregivers available to take care of the boomers in the next decades, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports on Monday.
According to the report titled The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap, there will be only four caregivers available for every one baby boomer or those 80 years old and above by 2030. It used to be seven back in 2010. By 2050, further drop will happen with a ratio of 3 to 1.
Potential caregivers are defined by the report author Ari Houser as those aged between 45 and 64. Roughly 14 percent of them can provide care for those 80 and above, nine percent for those 60 to 79, and seven percent for those 18 to 59.
The shortage of caregivers by 2030 is caused by different factors: the large number of baby boomers, the low number of children produced by them, and the increased life span.
Baby boomers are those born between the years 1946 and 1964. The AARP had computed that there was about 78 million baby boomers in the U.S in 2010. By 2030, 60 million of them are projected to still be alive and 20 million by 2050.
“It’s a wake-up call for aging boomers,” said Lynn Feinberg, a senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute and an author of the report. “We’re really moving toward an uncertain future, as . . . relying on our family and friends to provide long-term care isn’t going to be realistic anymore.”
Women will be more affected than men as they usually live longer than men.
Feinberg suggests that the government should start drafting better policies to better support the caregivers and provide more options for home care such as a long-term care present in other countries.