Over the last 20+ years, the primary caregivers of those 80 years of age or older has been family members. However, the number of family members who are able to care for that demographic is steadily decreasing. What we can expect to see over the next 20 years is a massive increase in the number of baby boomers who are in the 80 year old range. The simple fact of the matter is that baby boomers have had fewer children than their parents did. This decrease in family size is directly related to the decreased number of family members able to care for them. This is going to cause a challenge that needs to be addressed very quickly. Two simple ways to address this issue are: adding more Assisted Living communities and better use of technology.
More Assisted Living Communities
Simply put, someone is going to have to step in to care for baby boomers. There might be an assumption that children will be around to assist, but often that is not the case and quality assisted living communities can meet this need. Statistics have shown that the “average” family caregiver is a female who is 49 years old. In most families today, both spouses work outside of the home, which means this female has more responsibilities outside of taking care of a parent. If this “average female” is the primary breadwinner in her home, it quickly becomes apparent that an assisted living facility is the answer. Many people are banking on this realization and are looking for a massive boom in assisted living construction and employment over the next 20 years.
Better Use of Technology
Even a decade ago, a person caring for an aging parent did not have the resources available to adequately find the help they needed. With the educational tools available online, the smartphone apps, and senior living directories it is now much easier to find the help needed. Those who are preparing for or are currently taking care of their parents need only do some simple searches on Google to find the tools needed. Even the technology available within assisted living communities has made it easier to connect with loved ones. Doing a simple FaceTime™ chat or a Skype™ call is a great way for seniors to stay connected with their families.
Avanti Senior Living has positioned itself to lead in both technology and service centered care for seniors. With tools, such as Android tablets available for each resident, residents can connect with family via video and social media; request services easily, and even choose what wine they would like with their meal from a state of the art on-site restaurant. The need for caregivers in the future is a need that won’t go away soon. Being proactive about how to handle this need and finding resources to help care for the aging, is an investment worth making.
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute calculations based on REMI (Regional Economic Models, Inc.) 2013 baseline demographic projections