Baby Boomers are Delaying Retirement to Care for Parents

By: Lauren Mineau

The number of baby boomers caring for both their elderly parents and adult children is growing, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

This generation is facing the stress of caregiving and still working, at an age where many thought they would be enjoying retirement.

Half of Americans in their sixties are supporting either a parent or an adult child and 1.2 million baby boomers are caring for both, according to a Pew research study. The first statistic is up 45 percent from 2005 and the second is more than double.

This trend is worrying baby boomers as they juggle this new life dynamic while trying to plan for their own future.

Half of the respondents to a OnePoll survey, commissioned by Capital Senior Living, felt like they were “parenting their parents” but also worried about the quality of life their parents have in old age.

“Baby boomers will be the largest generation entering the senior care system over the next few years and are currently the decision-makers for many of their parents,” Capital Senior Living COO Brett Lee told Senior Housing News. “It’s important that we, as an industry, understand their feelings and concerns about aging — like how prepared they feel — so that we can better answer their questions, help them plan their futures and put their minds at ease.”

Many of the respondents worried about their parents living alone, getting enough activity and overall health

There is one benefit: by seeing their parents age, many baby boomers found themselves thinking more about their own aging and making preparations. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said their current situation has influenced their thinking about their future.