According to Michael Birt, Director of the Center for Sustainable Health, the United States will “experience a dramatic shortfall in the number of family members who can supply caregiving services.”
He cites AARP’s recent Care Gap Report, which says that when baby boomers reach their eighties, they will face a sharp decline in the “caregiver support ratio.” In 2010 the ratio was 1 eighty-year-old to 7 potential caregivers. By 2030 the ratio will be 1 to 3.
Birt recommends a team approach, using technology and social networking. The same approach will work in any scenario where caregivers have to step in. Staying organized and sharing the load will lighten your load and increase your sense of control.
Michael Birt, Ph.D., collaborated with Slate magazine, the New America Foundation, and ASU for a series of magazine articles called “Future Tense.” In that article he explains the demographics of long-term care. An aging population and fewer young people will cause a shortage of caregivers for baby boomers now nearing retirement age.
Read “It Takes A Village, Part II.” It’ll make you think about where we’re all headed. I’m curious what caregivers think. Is technology going to do all the things caregivers do? What happens when it’s not just a matter of reminding the forgetful to take their medicine and turn off the stove? Do you think society will soon be living in three-generation households?
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