Boomers are Caregivers

Boomers are Caregivers

(This is Part 3. See Part 1 here and Part 2 here)

They are caregivers, often stressed and “smooshed.”

Baby Boomers may have completed their child-rearing responsibilities, but many are now taking care of grandchildren. In 2008, 2.6 million Boomer grandparents were raising their grandchildren, while many more help with childcare so their adult children can work. This has an enormous impact on the Boomers’ incomes and social relationships, as well as their health.

Largely because of the economy, and perhaps skills and values that weren’t communicated well to their children, many Boomers provide housing and resources for their “boomerang” children—those who return home after college or remain home after high school. Often these boomerangs come with their own children. The number of 26-year-olds living with parents has jumped almost 46 percent since 2007. In 2010, the number of 18- to 30-year-olds living with their parents grew to 20.7 million, a 3.9 percent gain in one year. This means that about a quarter of American adults between the ages of 18 and 30 now live with parents, while intergenerational households have reached the highest level in more than 50 years. The largest group of those moving back home is college graduates entering the worst jobs market since the Great Depression. Some 85 percent of those graduates, after four years of higher education, are left with little more than a worthless piece of paper and no hope. While Boomer parents may or may not welcome this return, they feel they have little choice.

Thirteen million Boomers are also involved in the care of their parents. For many this is from afar, while 25 percent of those parents live in the home of a Boomer offspring. As their parents age, this responsibility increases and often comes with emergencies. If they are fortunate, parent care comes after their children are launched, but increasingly, Boomers are caring for both parents and children at the same time, creating what is known as the Sandwich Generation. Especially if they are still working, these Boomers are truly smooshed.

Because of the combination of care giving and financial stressors, many Boomers are postponing retirement or looking at a retirement that is different from what they anticipated. Resources that had been targeted for travel or leisure now are needed for everyday living, for parents, or for adult children and grandchildren.

See Part 1 and Part 2.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Bernie on August 7, 2016 3:44 pm

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something
    which helped me. Thanks a lot!

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