Many Oregonians provide care for parents and aging relatives. The population of seniors is rapidly growing in the United States. In 2010, 40.4 million Americans—roughly one in every eight—were 65 years of age and older, an increase of 15.3% since 2000. As our population ages, the need for elder care is increasing and is expected to exceed available resources by 50% within the next decade.
A survey by AARP found that close to two-thirds of workers between the ages of 45 and 74 provide care to an aging or other adult loved one, and approximately 20% of these working caregivers expect they will need time off from work in the next 5 years due to their caregiving responsibilities.
Workers providing care to a loved one over the age of 50 report spending more than $5,500 out of pocket—or 10% of their median annual income—on caregiving in 2007. To finance these increased caregiving costs, 38% reported that they reduced or stopped saving for their own future, 34% reported using their savings, and 23% reported cutting back on their own preventive health or dental care.
It’s time for seniors to benefit from paid family and medical leave.