Americans should expect an enormous shortage in caregivers for older people in the coming decades, with a dearth of friends and family members available to care for the baby-boom generation as it ages, according to a report released Monday by AARP.
The report, “The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap,” projects that by 2030 there will be only four potential caregivers available for each person 80 or older, down from a high of more than seven in 2010. By 2050, when boomers are between 86 and 104, the ratio will drop below 3 to 1. Currently, about 14 percent of potential caregivers — defined as people 45 to 64 — provide care for someone 80 or older, 9 percent care for someone 60 to 79, and 7 percent care for someone 18 to 59, said Ari Houser, one of the authors.
The “2030 problem,” as researchers have defined it, stems from a combination of factors, including the large number of baby boomers, the fact that boomers had relatively fewer children than earlier generations, and increased longevity for both men and women.