Elder care is a both a booming industry and a major social influencer on America today. With millions of Americans entering their Golden Years as the Baby Boomer generation begins to hit age 65, families are finding more need for both family and professional caregivers to assist seniors with an ever-increasing desire to age in place. These days, it is hard to find anyone who hasn’t been touched by elder care in one form or another – individuals either are a family caregiver, are a support system to a family caregiver, or know someone who is one.
While it is obvious that the need for elder care, both in-home and facility-based, exists in the United States, did you know:
1. A 2009 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife estimates that there are 65.7 million caregivers in the United States. That equates to over 30% of all American households having a caregiver present in the family.
2. The average life expectancy of an individual born in 1968 was 70.5 years, whereas an individual born in 2010 has an average life expectancy of 78.3 years according to the Congressional Research Service 2010 Life Expectancy survey. People living longer means an extended need for elder care, which will likely need to be filled by future generations of family caregivers taking on additional caregiving responsibilities, coupled with the use of home care agencies using a home care software or home care systems to manage care for an increasing number of clients.
3. Per U.S. Census data, about 80% of seniors have one chronic health condition, while 50% have at least two. Common conditions among seniors include arthritis, diabetes and hypertension, all of which can increase the need for elder care. However, technologies like home care software and home care systems can help caregivers and professional care providers better manage chronic conditions, helping keep seniors safe and comfortable at home.
4. 73% of all caregivers are employed at some point during their time as a family caregiver, according to the AARP. This translates into data that two thirds of this population have had to adjust their work schedule to manage caregiving duties, while 1 in 5 has had to take a leave of absence. Balancing career and caregiving can be a major challenge, however, services like home care coupled with robust home care software and home care systems, like ClearCare, and adult day care can help caregiver regain some balance.
5. The 2009 study from the National Alliance on Caregiving and the AARP also found that 31% of caregivers report their stress as a 4 to 5, on a 5-point scale. Often times, this increased stress will lead to depression, a decline in health and reduction in a caregivers overall wellbeing. This statistic shows that respite is a vital part of caregiving, which home care systems and tools like home care software can help caregivers find without having to re-locate an elderly family member.
Family caregiving is a noble pursuit, however, it can also cause significant social and economic tolls for family caregivers. By knowing the facts about elder care, planning for long term care and accepting the help of technologies such as home care software, or home care systems, like Clearcare, family caregivers can reduce their risk of becoming a negative statistic.