The Baby Boomer Dilemma:
Updated: Apr 18
Caring for ourselves, aging parents, children and their growing families
“Baby Boomers” as they are colloquially known covers a group of people born between January 1, 1946 and December 31, 1965. That makes the oldest Baby Boomers almost 74 years old and the youngest almost 55 years old. Think about that grouping…that is a LARGE percentage of our population in South Florida. Many of our Baby Boomers are wondering how to care for themselves while simultaneously caring for their aging parents, young adult children and even grandchildren. Figuring out how to handle all of the physical and financial burdens is the Baby Boomer Dilemma.
I serve as part of the Elder Issues/Mayor’s Initiative on Aging Committee, which is one of the seven committees making up the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade County. I have been presented with data highlighting that our Baby Boomer population will make up a larger percentage of the Miami-Dade population by the year 2040 than all other persons living in Miami-Dade aged 0-18 years old. That is just a staggering statistic. Statistics from the Pew Research Center provide that approximately 75 percent of Baby Boomers are juggling family responsibilities while putting their retirement considerations on the back burner. And, due in part to increased life expectancy, somewhere around 70 percent of Baby Boomers have at least one living parent. The dilemma exists for Baby Boomers who find themselves torn between serving as caregivers for aging parents, supporting their children, and saving for retirement, let alone the ever-increasing costs of their own long-term care needs. With growing responsibilities caring for children and aging parents, it is very important for Baby Boomers to protect their physical and financial health and avoid burning out themselves. Physical Considerations
Even though there is a robust and established industry of home health care companies there are many Baby Boomers who are handling the physical responsibility of caring for their aging parents. Baby Boomers juggle the responsibilities of their own work, caregiving, children and other obligations while also physically caring for their aging parents which often can result in a higher risk of developing a chronic illness, substance abuse, and decreased emotional health and well-being. According to a study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, caregivers report fair or poor health increases from 14 percent in the first year to 20 percent after five years or more of providing care. The study also revealed that 23 percent of caregivers who are 65 years old or older have reported a higher physical strain due to caregiving, compared to 17 percent who are younger. The impact on your health will worsen over time and make matters even worse. Now is the time to stop and find a health solution to this problem! Financial Burdens A report by Ameriprise Financial revealed that baby boomers are prioritizing their loved ones’ needs over their own, despite uncertainty about their own financial future. Only 24 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed reported that t