The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap: A Look at Future Declines in the Availability of Family Caregivers

Understanding the effects of the relative size of the Baby Boom compared to preceding and succeeding age groups is essential to anticipating the demand for long-term services and supports (LTSS) and the potential availability of family care in the future.

This paper uses a “caregiver support ratio” to document the declining availability of family caregivers to provide LTSS between 1990 and 2050. It defines a “caregiver support ratio” as the number of potential caregivers age 45-64 for each person age 80 and older.  It documents the dramatic widening of the care gap nationally and in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as Baby Boomers age into their 80’s, beginning in 2026.  The report also highlights sociodemographic trends that may influence the future supply of family support for the frail older population.

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