Elderly care is at a sad state in America. By 2050, there will be over 32 million people over the age of 80 in the United States, but there is a real concern that there won’t be enough caregivers to go around. Currently, over 42 million people in the United States are unpaid caregivers, and nearly two thirds of those are women. This unpaid care has an economic value of over $350 billion annually.
That all sounds great, right? Well, not exactly. Caregivers, paid or not, are not supported and get burned out quickly. Because of this, more than a half million cases of elder abuse are reported annually in the United States. Unfortunately, 90% of abusers are family members. Forms of abuse include financial exploitation and emotional abuse. But even in institutions, 95% of residents say they have been neglected or seen someone else neglected, and 44% claim they have been abused.
If you’re a caretaker and you’re getting overwhelmed, ask for help or join a support group. If you have an elderly friend or relative, check on them often and offer to let the caretaker take a break. Most importantly, be sure to report any signs of abuse. Check out this infographic for more.