Caregiving is taking its toll on their marriages, draining their bank accounts and increasing sibling squabbles as one-in-two baby boomers take care of an aging parent.
According to new research from Caring.com, eighty percent (80%) of baby boomers caring for an aging parent say that it has put a strain on their marriage. “The time spent caring for an aging parent can take a serious toll on the caregiver’s relationship with their spouse,” said Andy Cohen, COO of Caring.com, a website for caregivers (www.caring.com). “Time that is traditionally spent with one another once the kids have left home is becoming more and more time when children start to play the role of caregiver to an aging parent.”
The financial strain is increasing, as caregivers find themselves without jobs, or working more to make sure they keep the job they have. The emotional strain on the caregiver and family relationships is increasingly evident. There has been an increase of 62% in the numbers of parents age 65 and older living with their adult children, according to the Census Bureau.
“We find more people seeking professional help with managing care of an aging parent. Sibling disagreements are increasing about not only what the right care is but who is going to shoulder the burden of care, said Dr. Dan Tobin, CEO of Your Support Nurse, (www.yoursupportnurse.com). “We help them identify local care solutions and work together as a family to solve their problems.”
Unfortunately, technologies that can help older persons age at home are often overlooked or undiscovered. Laurie Orlov, Founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch (www.ageinplacetech.com), a research firm, cites a Clarity 2007 study in which 51% of baby boomers believe that technology can help their parents, but only 14% have looked for any – perhaps because marketers have yet to clearly target them.
Can baby boomers afford to pay to help parents age in place? “According to research from AARP, boomer caregivers do express willingness to pay less than $50/month for technologies to assist in their parents’ care,” Orlov says, “But interestingly, they typically pay more than $300/month for tech-related services for themselves.
Orlov recommends that instead of waiting until someone falls in their home or is admitted to the hospital for failing to take medication — boomers should act now. PERS (personal emergency response system) devices, medication reminders, and sensor-based home monitoring tech — all can make a huge difference.
Cohen, Tobin and Orlov are among the speakers at the Boomer Summit who will be covering issues such as caregiving and technology, case studies on how to reach caregivers online, distribution partners for companies targeting caregivers and new services aimed at helping boomers handle their caregiver responsibilities.
Baby boomer caregiving trends and resources and services to help them is a key topic at the upcoming What’s Next Baby Boomer Summit being held March 19 at Bally’s Las Vegas (www.boomersummit.com). The national conference focuses on baby boomer trends, marketing to baby boomers and entrepreneurship opportunities serving the boomer market of 78 million people.