Weiss: AARP Gives Us a Snapshot of the Millennial Caregiver
Sunday, June 03, 2018
The 11-page report, released by AARP’s Public Policy Institute on May 22, 2018, takes a look at the Millennial’s generational experiences and challenges as they support an aging parent, grandparent, friend or neighbor with basic living and medical needs.
“Caregiving responsibilities can have an impact on the futures of younger family caregivers, who are at a particular time in their lives when pivotal social and professional networks are being formed,” said Jean Accius, PhD, Vice President, AARP Public Policy Institute, in a statement with the report’s release. “We must consider the unique needs of millennial family caregivers and ensure that they are included in programs and have the support they need to care for themselves as well as their loved ones,” she says.
The Millennial Caregiver
According to the AARP report, Millennial caregivers are evenly split by gender but also the most diverse group of family caregivers to date, notes the report. More than 27 percent of the millennial caregivers are Hispanic/Latino, or 38 percent of all family caregivers among Hispanic/Latinos.
The AARP report notes that Millennials are the most diverse generation of family caregivers when compared to other generations. Eighteen percent are African-American/Black, or 34 percent of all African-American/Black family caregivers. Eight percent are Asian American/Pacific Islander, or 30 percent of all the AAPI family caregivers, says the report, noting that less than 44 percent are white, or 17 percent of all white family caregivers. Finally, twelve percent self-identify as LGBT, which makes them the largest portion of LGBT family caregivers (34 percent) than any other generation.
About half of the Millennial caregivers (44 percent) are single and never married while 33 percent are married. If this demographic trend continues a smaller family structure will make it more likely to have a caregiver when you need one.
More than half of the Millennial caregivers perform complex Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), including assisting a person to eat, bath, and to use the bathroom, along with medical nursing tasks, at a rate similar to older generations. But, nearly all Millennials help with one instrumental activity of daily living including helping a person to shop and prepare meals.
While Millennial caregivers are more likely than caregivers from other generations to be working, one in three earn less than $30,000 per year. These low-income individual’s higher out-of-pocket costs (about $ 6,800 per year) related to their caregiving role than those with higher salaries, says the AARP report.
As to education, Millennial caregivers have a high school diploma or has taken some college courses but not finished. But, one in three have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
According to the AARP report, 65 percent of the Millennial caregivers surveyed care for a parent or grandparent usually over age 50 and more than half are the only one in the family providing this support. However, these young caregivers are more likely to care for someone with a mental health or emotional issue — 33 percent compared to 18 percent of older caregivers. As a result, these younger caregivers will face higher emotional, physical and financial strains.
The AARP report notes that Millennials are the most likely of any generation to be a family caregiver and employed (about 73 percent). Sixty two percent of the boomers were employed and were caregivers. On top of spending an average of more than 20 hours a week (equivalent to a part-time job) in their caregiving duties, more than half of the Millennials worked full-time, over 40 hours a week. However, 26 percent spend more than 20 hours of week providing family care.
Although most Millennial caregivers seek out consumer information to assist them in their caregiving duties, usually from the internet and from a health care professional, the most frequent source of information is from other family members and friends.
While Millennial caregivers consume information at a higher rate, most (83 percent) want more information to supplement what they have. The top areas include stress management (44 percent) and tips for coping with caregiving challenges (41 percent).
A Changing Workforce
Millennials are encountering workplace challenges because they are less understood by supervisors and managers than their older worker colleagues. More than half say their caregiving role affected their work in a significant way, says the AARP report. The most common impacts are going to work late or leaving early (39 percent) and cutting back on work hours (14 percent).
As we see the graying of America, it makes sense for employers to change their policies and benefits to become more family friendly to all caregivers, including Millennials, to allow them to balance their work with their caregiving activities.
It’s the right thing to do.
To read the full report, click here.
Visit here for more resources and information on family caregiving, including AARP’s Prepare to Care Guides.
Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, healthcare and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to herbweiss.com.
- Weiss: Senate Aging Panel Calls for Improved Emergency Preparation & Response
- Weiss: Social Security Gets Attention as Candidates Share Plans for Shoring Up System’s Solvency
- Weiss: Report - Cognitive-Simulating Activities Good for Your Brain’s Health
- Weiss: Overhauling Social Security & Medicare Gets ‘Thumbs Down’ in Recent Poll Findings
- Weiss: OAA Reauthorization Bill Goes to President Obama for Signing
- Weiss: Older Americans to Benefit from Bipartisan Budget Act
- Weiss: Social Security, Medicare Are Solvent..For Now
- Weiss: Three GOP Senators Derail ‘Skinny’ Maneuvers
- Weiss: Trump’s Budget Proposal Comes ‘Dead on Arrival’ to Aging Groups
- Weiss: With Tax Day Looming, Watch Out for IRS Imposters
- Weiss: Trump Signs Legislation to Undo Nation’s Banking Rules
- Weiss: Trump Budget Proposal Makes Draconian Cuts to Aging Programs
- Weiss: Trump Budget Could Fray Nation’s Social Security Net, Hurt Seniors
- Weiss: Medicare Takes a Blow Under GOP’s Major Tax Plan Fix
- Weiss: In 2050, Where Have All the Family Caregivers Gone?
- Weiss: CBO Numbers Says GOP Health Plan Benefits Young, Healthy…Not Seniors
- Weiss: Congressional Panel Looks Over Medicare
- Weiss: Analysis Says That Aging Veterans at Greater Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Weiss: Aging Groups - House GOP Tax Rewrite a Turkey
- Herb Weiss: How the Presidential Election Impacts Social Security
- Weiss: Earth - The Gray(ing) Planet
- Weiss: Experts Say Isolation and Loneliness Impacting More Older Americans
- Weiss: House Fails to Pass GOP’s Balanced Budget Amendment
- Weiss: House GOP Leadership Puts its Health Care Proposal on Fast-Track
- Weiss: House Budget Committee Plan Calls for Privatization of Medicare