A Healthy Society Series: 10,000 a Day Turn 65 in America. The Rise of Family Caregivers of the Elderly.
The U.S. population is aging. The number of Americans aged 65 and older will more than double over the next 40 years, reaching 80 million in 2040. The group most often needing help with basic personal care, adults ages 85 and older, will nearly quadruple between 2000 and 2040.
Aging in place will be an option for many people, which means staying in the comfort of your own home, rather than moving into a retirement or long-term care facility. Most of the care provided to older adults in this country comes from families, friends and neighbors. In fact, by 2030, it is projected that half of the families in the United States will be involved in caring for an older adult.
While home-based care is less expensive than institutional care, few of the 45 million family caregivers in the United States are trained or paid to provide this complex care. In California, the economic value of family care was put at $63 trillion in 2017. This vast labor force could be tapped for future success, including better health outcomes, less demand on the health-care system, and reduced costs. But optimizing the home-based caregiver system requires a systematic approach, which will be discussed by our panel of experts.
Robert Lee Kilpatrick
MLF: Health & Medicine