Personal Finance

Study raises questions about long-term care for aging boomers

Baby boomers may have no one to care for them in their old age, a new study suggests.

Shifting demographics mean that aging boomers will have fewer friends and family members to take care of them as they get into their 80s, according to a study by AARP.

In other words, even though boomers may be supporting their own elderly parents, the chances of someone being there for them are numerically diminished.

The ratio of potential caregivers to boomers needing care will sink from 7.2-to-1 in 2010 to 2.9-to-1 by 2050, according to the study.

“In just 13 years, as the baby boomers age into their 80s, the decline in the caregiver support ratio will shift from a slow decline to a free-fall,” according to the study.

That will exacerbate the emotional and financial pressures weighing on families.

“More than two-thirds of Americans believe they will be able to rely on their families to meet their needs when they need long-term care,” said Lynn Feinberg, AARP senior policy analyst and one of the report’s authors. “But this confidence is likely to deflate when it collides with the dramatically shrinking availability of family caregivers in the future.”

The study, “The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap,” determined the ratio of potential caregivers by dividing the number of people in the most common caregiving age range, 45 to 64 years old, by the number of older people most likely to need care, classified as 80 and older.