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More Aging Americans Move In With Children

Armen Hareyan's picture

Adult children become the primary caregivers for two generations as more elderly parents are moving in with the family because of the economy.

The struggling economy is forcing more aging Americans to change their long-term care plans. With the stock market fluctuations causing retirement benefits to shrink, more and more elderly Americans are forced to move in with their adult children.

The average yearly cost of a nursing home stay was $77,380 in 2008, with assisted living rent rising to $36,372. (Source: McKnight’s) Medicare and private insurance only cover a meager percentage of these costs and many Americans can no longer shoulder the burden. Money is now the determining factor in choosing where the elderly should stay and who their primary caregiver is, whereas before it had to do more with where they might be happiest and most comfortable.

Barbara McVicker knows firsthand how complicated a task this can be. The professional speaker and author of the caregiver support book Stuck in the Middle: Shared Stories and Tips for Caregiving Your Elderly Parents, McVicker cared for her parents for ten years while raising her two children and working as a busy development director for non-profit agencies.

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“Many of the options that people have relied upon are disappearing. As the value in their elderly parents’ homes are deteriorating, there is less money to afford senior housing facilities. It is narrowing the different possibilities of where mom and dad will live and how they will receive care.”

With two, and sometimes three, generations living under one roof, the Baby Boomer is now taking on the task of raising their own children while dealing with their parent’s health care problems and caregiving needs. It is now estimated that over 75 million Americans are caring for their ill and aging parents. Coined the “Sandwich Generation”, these people are mastering the balance between work, personal life, child rearing, and adult caregiving.

“In this financial market most Baby Boomers are “stuck in the middle” of funding their kids’ tuition, their own 401k, and now, funding their elderly parents’ care. Since 70% of adult children have never talked to their parents about finances, the Baby Boomers have no idea if they have to work 5 years longer to support everyone, or if the elderly parents have enough money for everyone to go on a world cruise,” McVicker says.

McVicker now tours the country speaking to groups of human resource managers, financial advisors, and health care professionals, explaining not only how to deal with clients who are facing these problems, but employees who are “stuck in the middle,” as well.

For more information about Barbara McVicker and Stuck in the Middle: Shared Stories and Tips for Caregiving Your Elderly Parents please go to http://www.barbaramcvicker.com.