Washington, D.C. — By 2050, the elderly population is expected to double to 88 million people. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that by 2050, meeting the needs of America’s elders will require between 7 percent and 11 percent of the adult, nonelderly population to participate in paid or unpaid caregiving. Following Monday’s White House Conference on Aging, the Center for American Progress today released an issue brief on elder care, as well as the policy, grassroots, research, and theological solutions that would aid Americans to better care for both themselves and their loved ones.
“Economic policies must address the needs of each group involved in the care of the aging—elders, their families and family caregivers, and the paid elder care workforce—as well as live up to the values that strengthen families,” said Emily Baxter, Research Associate for the Economic Policy team at the Center for American Progress and author of the issue brief. “A broad-based understanding of the interactions and interconnections between these groups and the challenges they share is critical.”
This issue brief details the economic challenges ahead using a holistic framework that brings together recent data, research, and experience, with an additional focus on faith-based communities. There are many policy initiatives that would help Americans better care for both themselves and their loved ones as they age in a way that reflects real family values.
Looking towards the future, the issue brief offers next-step solutions, which include:
- Establishing programs to train family caregivers in order to grow the paid elder care workforce
- Reauthorizing the Older Americans Act and amending it to include provisions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people to gain access to the unique support and services they may need
- Ensuring access to paid family leave and medical leave, and paid sick days for working Americans
- Getting religious communities to provide support to elders and their caregivers and to aid in connecting older Americans with the elder care workforce
- Expanding the framework for thinking about how Americans face aging and caring for loved ones through research by theologians and religious professionals
It is crucial that America’s economic policies are able to sufficiently prepare its citizens for the future. Upholding the dignity of both those receiving and administering care is vital to creating successful policies and social structures surrounding elder care.
Click here to read the issue brief.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.478.5328.