The Baby Boomer Dilemma: Caring for ourselves, aging parents, children & their growing families!
Updated: Dec 24, 2019
The Baby Boomer Dilemma: Caring for ourselves, aging parents, children & 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.
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!
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 they are saving for retirement, compared to 44 percent just five years earlier. As many as 60 percent of Baby Boomers help their aging parents whether it be paying bills and helping them purchase groceries or taking them to doctor appointment.
Additionally, more than 90 percent of the boomers surveyed have provided some kind of support to their adult children, including paying for school tuition, car, insurance, or basic expenses like housing expenses. More than half have allowed their adult children to live at home rent free! For those who are grandparents, many assist their adult children by devoting time, care and money to help raise their grandchildren.
How to combat the physical constraints and financial burdens
It is important that caregivers take steps to monitor and maintain their own physical and financial well-being. Caregivers can help to maintain their physical health by:
*Exercise, maintain a healthy diet and sleeping schedule
*Hire a professional caregiver to assist if they can afford it
*Meditate and set time for themselves
*Join a support group or seek professional counseling
*Seek the guidance of an Elder Law attorney
*Consider options for moving their aging loved one into an assisted living facility or nursing home and qualifying them for Medicaid benefits
Caregivers can also help to maintain their financial health by:
*Qualify yourself or your aging parent for Medicaid benefits
*Update your estate plan
*Make sure you have proper fiduciary appointments in place, especially an elder law focused Durable Power of Attorney
*Create a life care plan
The dilemma is real but do not lose hope! The attorneys at Segal Linde, PLLC understand that undertaking the physical and financial responsibilities of caring for an aging parent, while simultaneously supporting their children, and saving for your own retirement can be overwhelming. We want to help you figure out how to navigate these issues in the most beneficial way to you and your loved ones.
Our attorneys are here to assist you and your loved ones. We serve clients throughout Florida. For more information or for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION please contact us today by calling 305.722.5533 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!