The percentage of Americans who provide care for their aging parents has tripled since 1994, according to a new study.
What’s more, caregivers lose an estimated $3 trillion in wages, pension and Social Security benefits when they take time off from work to help their aging parents, the study said.
The research was conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, the National Alliance for Caregiving and the Center for Long Term Care Research and Policy at New York Medical College — all long-term care advocates. Still, they analyzed data from the National Health and Retirement Study done by the University of Michigan, and it appears newsworthy.
The study said that average losses equal $324,044 for women caregivers and $283,716 for men.
“Nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 care for their aging parents,” Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, said in a statement. “As the percentage of employees who are caregivers continues to grow, there will be greater demand on employers for help and support.”
The study found:
– The percentage of adult children providing personal care and/or financial assistance to a parent has more than tripled over the past 15 years. It currently represents a quarter of adult children, mainly Baby Boomers. Working and non-working adult children are almost equally likely to provide care to parents in need.
– Adult children at least 50-years-old who work and provide care to a parent are more likely than those who do not provide care to report that their health is fair or poor.
– Overall, caregiving sons and daughters provide comparable care in many respects, but daughters are more likely to provide basic care (help with dressing, feeding and bathing) and sons are more likely to provide financial assistance.
– For women, the total individual amount of lost wages due to leaving the labor force early because of caregiving responsibilities equals $142,693. The estimated impact of caregiving on lost Social Security benefits is $131,351. A conservative estimated impact on pensions is approximately $50,000, the study said.
– For men, the total individual amount of lost wages due to leaving the labor force early because of caregiving responsibilities equals $89,107. The estimated impact of caregiving on lost Social Security benefits is $144,609. A conservative estimate of the impact on pensions is $50,000, the study said.
Are you taking care of an aging parent? How has it affected you?
Have you left work to do it? Is your employer helping out in any way?
Will you be facing this issue soon?
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.