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Millennials' New Role as Caregivers to the Elderly

The United States will soon be facing an influx of retired baby boomers, and healthcare professionals are having trouble figuring out how to prepare for it. There are over 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each year, adding a large amount of people who will soon need elderly care. The problem? American healthcare is severely understaffed.

The overall quality of patient care is suffering from this dilemma. Hospitals do not have enough hands on deck, so this problem isn’t exactly new. Of course, this isn’t the only way American healthcare is lacking — it’s no stranger to needing more diversity and would be more effective if it was more accessible.

But while those things are also urgent, there is an immediate threat to elderly lives simply from a shortage of resources. Where healthcare providers have been unable to act though, the millennial generation have stepped into the fold.

Why Are Baby Boomers in This Situation?

There are two significant reasons that baby boomers are in this situation. The first is simply that there are a lot of them. Additionally however, financial habits have a place in the conversation. CNBC reported that a third of boomers have $25,000 or less saved for retirement. This leaves the responsibility on others to take care of them, and the healthcare industry simply isn’t prepared for that.

In the short term, the healthcare system needs more medical educators that can train fresh healthcare staff. If there’s a massive insertion of new patients into the system, there comes a call for multiplied resources and help, which begins with new employees. In the long-term, younger generations need to budget and finance better. Not only that, learning how to age in place is also crucial to remain independent for as long as possible and keep costs down. If they can set themselves up for retirement well, this issue won’t be so urgent in the future.

When Can Millennials Care for Aging Family Members?

For a millennial who is coming to terms with the fact that they may be a loved one’s care provider, the notion can seem daunting. Taking care of their own personal finances is one thing but using their own resources to take care of someone else can feel nearly impossible.

The remote-work age has increased caregiving ability for millennials, however. As with television writer Jennifer Levin, who reportedly spent time to take care of her father with a rare brain disorder, job flexibility was crucial to adequately take care of her dying family member.

Due to technology, this is easier to come by in 2019 than it was a decade or two ago because people can now work from home. However, job flexibility can still be hard to find depending on someone’s credentials and field of interest. Before a millennial takes on a caregiving role, they need to know they can support themselves financially, in addition to having the right skillset.

For this reason, there are organizations such as the AARP that have decided to enact a caregiving leave program for employees that find themselves in this situation. It has yet to be determined if other companies and organizations will follow suit. But it may become necessary with the boomer influx, and if it does, the digital age may be the most efficient time for it.

What Struggles Should Caregiving Millennials be Prepared For?

Millennials who have stepped into caregiving roles should be prepared for the realities of attending to an aging family member who may be sick or facing dire health conditions. Many boomers will face chronic pain due to symptoms like arthritis or back injuries. This may put some millennials in the position of ensuring these family members take their medication and are physically active.

Additionally, these situations can be quite stressful for those who choose to take on caregiving roles for friends and family. The emotional and mental impact of watching a loved one struggle with their health or live in chronic pain is not easy. It may be helpful for these caregivers to educate themselves on healthcare issues, from physical and mental ailments to insurance costs.

Improved health literacy could potentially save billions of dollars in annual healthcare costs. It would also allow for healthy routines to set in among those who have taken a family member in. However, time to learn vital health information may be scarce for those splitting their efforts between aging family members and a full-time job.

Millennials adjusting into these roles therefore should try and prepare. The number of trained health professionals in the United States is just not enough to handle the boomer influx into the healthcare system. But luckily, technology and job flexibility make it more possible. Hopefully, there will be more health workers to take this load on in the near future as well.

Posted by jhamilton at July 23, 2019 7:39 PM
Comments
Comment #446499

HHMmmmmm …
Many Millennials can barely afford to take care of themselves.
Baby Boomers will be relying on Social Security and Medicare, but both are essentially in trouble.
There is up to $70 Billion per year in Medicare fraud, and Medicare will deplete its reserves in 2026.
And borrowing is now required to fund Social Security. It is predicted that Social Security benefits will have to be reduced by 25% (or more) by year 2035 (largely because the federal government has been spending Social Security surpluses on other things for over 8 decades, and putting worthless I.O.U.s in the Social Security system).
There are NO reserves in the Social Security system. There are actually only worthless I.O.Us in the Social Security system.
Federal debt of $22.5 Trillion of nightmare proportions exacerbates all of it, and costs 25% or more of evey tax dollar for interest on that debt.
Yet, many Democrats running for POTUS are promising all sorts of free-stuff in order to bribe voters with their own tax dollars, and acquire more electoral votes via massive illegal immigration. Many Democrats are promising, or doing, and/or promoting:

  • a free income;
  • promises of free college tuition;
  • promises of free college for non-citizens also;
  • already, some sanctuary states give free tuition or in-state college tuition to non-citizens, but charge higher college tuition rates for out-of-state citizens;
  • promises to eliminate all college loan debt;
  • promises of free healthcare (including free healthcare for non-citizens);
  • promises to allow non-citizens to vote;
  • promises to allow people to vote at age 16;
  • promises to allow non-citizens to be counted in decennial CENSUS (which can increase the number of electoral votes for states with large numbers of non-citizens, since the decennial CENSUS does not verify citizenship); there is a reason why California is a sanctuary state with about 3 Million illegal immigrants;
  • promises to allow convicted and incarcerated felons to vote (including murderers, rapists, pedophiles, etc.);
  • promises of reparations for black people (punishing others that had nothing to do with slavery, which was abolished 154 years ago in 1865);
  • promises to promote sanctuary cities and states; promises of another amnesty like the shamnesty of 1986; promises of open-borders, while conveniently ignore 2,000 homicides per year by criminal non-citizens (source: site2data.com/homicides1.html);
  • promises to abolish I.C.E. and BCP (Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection);
  • promises to refuse any legislation to:
    • (a) require employers to use eVerify (to verify eligibility for employment);
    • (b) to stop the abuse of asylum laws;
    • (c) and stop the abuse of birth-right citizenship (women from all over the world are booking vacations to the U.S. to give birth, so that their child will have U.S. citizenship; 70% of births at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX are by illegal immigrants);
  • promises to give illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses, and also automatically register them to vote; illegal voting by non-citizens is widespread in all states;
  • promises of statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C.;
  • promises to change the number of Supreme Court justices with hopes of packing the court with more extremists like themselves;
  • promises to restrict or eliminate 2nd Amendment rights, and say it is worth it “even if it saves only ONE life”, but hypocritically ignore about 2,000 homicides per year by criminal non-citizens (source: www.gao.gov/assets/320/316959.pdf ; site2data.com/homicides1.html ), not to mention losses of $300 Billion (or more) per year due to illegal immigration.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 24, 2019 9:47 PM
Comment #446670

Should we rename it The False Sense of Social Security? It seems like it. An entry level employee receives his first check and 10% of it has already been spent by a government providing that false sense of security.

If jhammilton needs to write an article like this, it is proof the lies told about the SS program are just that, lies. That entry level employee is a dope for allowing his property to be confiscated throughout his entire life based on a false promise. They used to call things like this a Pig in a Poke.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 29, 2019 9:20 AM
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