There have been numerous reports detailing the gender gap among unpaid caregivers in the United States, most however, have focused on young families and the care they provide to their children. Recently, however, the Population Reference Bureau examined the gender gap in caregivers later in life to explore whether marital status and retirement made a difference in how men and women help others.
When it comes to men and women in caregiving, not surprisingly, there are distinct differences. Most elderly individuals – 65 percent – with long-term needs rely exclusively on family and friends to provide assistance. When it comes to who is providing the care, it is estimated that female caregivers spend 50 percent more time providing care than men. Continue reading
Aging Without Children – NYTimes.com
Aging Without Children
By PAULA SPAN
Ann Logan, with Henry, in her New York apartment.Ann Logan and her three sisters grew up in Delaware; none of them have children. Their stepbrother and seven first cousins on both sides are childless, as well. “Each of us had different reasons,” she told me.
Ms. Logan, the eldest sister at 63, doesn’t regret her decision not to be a parent, but she does worry about the future as she and her relatives all age.
Read on Aging Without Children – NYTimes.com
With over 35 million people over the age of 65 living in the United States, and 30 percent of adult children providing finances for their parents’ care, one of the biggest burdens currently associated with aging is the high cost of medical care.
As a person ages their need for long-term care significantly increases. Those over the age of 85 are the fastest growing population group in the nation. As people continue to live longer, their need for long-term care is extended and with an increase in the need of caregivers, this ballooning group will soon use all the current programs designed to pay for formal caregivers, and then some.
Most caregivers providing care for the elderly today are informal, unpaid family members and their economic value is estimated at $306 billion nationwide each year, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Meanwhile annual national spending on formal health care only reaches $158 billion.
With the increase in family caregivers, in 2002 over half of U.S. workers said they provided some form of caregiving, employers are beginning to experience staffing problems due to caregiving. Businesses lose an estimated $17.1 billion each year attributable to their employees’ absences due to caregiving for family members over the age of 50.
While many elderly people in the U.S. have their finances figured out related to medical services and medications, they often ignore the costs associated with long-term care. As government programs are being sucked dry by this burgeoning population, elderly Americans are going to need to start focusing on ways to pay for the high cost of long-term care on their own.
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