A new report from the AARP shows that more and more Americans are spending time caring for elderly family members. The report says that about 42 percent of workers in the United States spend at least some time within the past five years providing unpaid eldercare services. 49 percent of those same workers say they expect to provide elder care within the next five years.
The report comes as the aging baby boomer generation continues to reach retirement age at 10,000 people a day. By 2050 the percentage of the population composed of people over the age of 65 will have more than doubled from its current levels.
Those providing unpaid eldercare often incur significant hardships which can impact their careers and daily lives. The average person providing unpaid eldercare works about 20 additional hours per week in the effort. That’s 20 hours in addition to any full-time employment they have outside of the home.
This unpaid work can have devastating financial consequences even if the unpaid worker doesn’t reduce work hours. Unpaid eldercare workers report that they have significantly less energy and ability to devote to their careers and have missed out on opportunities for advancement. Hourly wage workers who have to take off days or weeks to provide eldercare services can also have their wages significantly reduced.