Elder Care Research Gaining Traction
Researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics interview people every day to see how they managed the tasks of the previous day – everything from work to child care to running errands. They contacted more than 12,000 U.S. respondents for the report known as “The American Time Use Survey.”
Though the BLS started the survey in 2003, only in the last year did they include questions for the respondents about caring for elderly family members. What they have since found has surprised many: 39.8 million people above the age of 15 report they are regularly providing unpaid care to someone over 65. More than 23 percent of respondents between 45 and 64 consider themselves “elder care providers,” meaning, researchers assume, an adult child who provides some level of care for an aged parent or parents. One-third of them care for two or more older people. Some 23 percent of those elder-person caregivers report that they also have a minor child in their households – meaning that they are what is called “the sandwich generation,” caring for someone older as well as someone younger.
As America “grays,” the subject of elder care is gaining traction. The resources required – financial, emotional, time-based – will continue to be examined.
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