New research shows that family caregiving now includes 25 percent of millennials

New research by the AARP Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving shows that almost one quarter of family caregivers today are the between the age of 18 and 34.

Given that boomers are usually associated with taking care of their parents, the inclusion of millennials in the mix is one of the surprising findings in the research.

Those who have been caregiving more than 21 hours a week have been doing so for an average of five and a half years and expect to do so for another five, according to the research.

Of those, nearly half of these caregivers report experiencing high emotional stress.

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Other highlights of the research include:

  • About 40 percent of Americans considered themselves caregivers in 2013
  • Of that 40 percent, most are women and the median age is 49
  • The work they performed in 2013 was valued at approximately $470 billion

The pressure on family caregivers may soon be getting some help from policymakers. Pending bills in Congress look to offer Social Security credits for caregivers taking care of relatives and some states are looking at legislation that would assist hospitals in communicating with a person’s caregiver, especially after a hospitalization.

All of this is welcome relief to some of my clients struggling to find the balance between working to support their family and assisting their elderly parents as they age. And judging by the increasing percentage of family caregivers, it hasn’t come a moment too soon.

To read the entire report, click here.