How Families Care For Elderly Relatives In The USA

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Find out more about elderly care provided by families in the USA compared to Europe and specifically, the UK.

Studies suggest that 29% of the adult population of the USA have at some point provided care to a relative. A lot of this care is provided without pay and is often given for full time hours throughout the week. Family members may struggle with the physical and emotional toll of caring, exactly like in the UK. It is a full-time job but one many families take on because of the love they have for their elderly relatives. There is money set aside by the state to help with care of the elderly, but as with the UK, it isn’t enough to cope with the quickly ageing population.

A Care Crisis In America

The amount of Americans who are aged 65 or older is set to double from 46 million to 98 million or more by 2060. The problem is, as with the UK, there isn’t a care system in place that will be able to cope with the growing amount of people who require care. Unlike Scandinavia, who have an incredibly sophisticated care system for the elderly, America is ill-prepared for the increasing ageing population.

Residential care is either not available or many people do not want to go into residential care. Many people struggle to afford to go into retirement communities. Multi-generational living is suffering because both men and women are going out to forge careers, where previously the women would have been at home with children and would have also been looking after elderly relatives.

Live-in care is a good solution but even that is struggling because the workforce isn’t growing fast enough to cope with demand for this form of elderly care. Many carers hired by state-run services are working completely flat-out. Any family members acting as caregivers are also exhausted. The toll on missed work through exhaustion as well as the healthcare systems in place because caregivers are unwell because of their caregiving role, is huge.

Is It All Bad?

Just like the UK, the care system in the US is not all bad but it needs to change as soon as possible to avoid a collapse. Luckily a sense of family is still strong in America and families do take responsibility for their elderly loved ones in many communities. Live-in care is also still the most viable option for transforming elderly care in the USA.

Live-in carers can live in multi-generational households, enabling households to pull together and pool money and resources. Live-in carers can also provide a dedicated one to one service which is much better for the health and wellbeing of the client, leading to less eventual strain on healthcare services.

How families care for elderly relatives in the USA is similar to in the UK. Safety is a priority and mostly, everybody wants the best for their loved ones. Live-in care is an affordable, beneficial option for care and it is worth looking into if you or a loved one require care in the foreseeable future. Take a look at Live-in Care Hub for more information about live-in care.