Many cultures rely on a traditional model to provide care for the older generation. The premise is simple, you have children who have their own children. As you reach retirement age and need a little help the extended family unit is there to do just that.
Whether you need the latest hospital recliner chairs, a specialist bed, or just some companionship, there is someone there to help you.
However, this doesn’t appear to apply to the baby boomers.
What Is A Baby Boomer?
Anyone born between 1946 and 1964 is described as a baby boomer. This was the tough period after the Second World War when countries were rebuilding economies and the emphasis was also on rebuilding populations. In short, birth rates shot up, hence the title ‘baby boomers’.
These people are now starting to reach retirement age. They are known as an affluent generation with plenty of influence. They’ve lived through a time of prosperity and steady economic growth, the equalization of male and female rights, and a host of other changes.
But, they’re now facing a new dilemma, how will they be cared for as they hit their 70s and 80s?
Baby boomers have had children, they’ve had successful careers, and now they’re enjoying retirement. But, very soon that enjoyment will turn to fear as they become increasingly concerned about illness and falls.
Most baby boomers can afford community retirement housing. But, they are not eligible to aid in paying for this. In short, they have to sell the assets they’ve built up in order to fund the cost of living.
The problem is that despite earning reasonably well throughout their lives, these people don’t have enough funds to hire help. That means as one half of a couple becomes frail, the other half is forced to look after them. That increases the stress of living and the likelihood of a long-term injury occurring.
Alongside this these unpaid carers need to be aware that a frail loved one is likely to have a terminal fall or some similar incident.
At this point, they will lose an income and may be unable to afford the community retirement housing. Others will already be facing retirement as single people, thanks to divorce or other circumstances.
Without financial backing, they’ll be forced to rely on the government, which simply can’t afford to cover the cost of looking after so many elderly people.
Without the care they need, many baby boomers will find their later years a time of ill-health and stress. Governments need to act today to head off a crisis that is likely to happen in the near future.
To compound this issue many of the baby boomers had children later in life. That means they’ve spent their later years looking after elderly parents and providing financial and emotional support to their own adult children.
The result is they don’t have the funds for care in retirement and there aren’t enough carers to look after them.
Of course, their children could take on the burden. But, because they are young adults they’re unlikely to have the financial means necessary to support their parents.