According to Pew Research Center, adults ages 45 to 64 are the most likely to be caregivers. In fact, about a quarter (23%) of adults ages 45 to 64 cares for an aging adult.
Then, for those over 65 – 17% – serve as caregivers for another aging American. Many in this group are caring for a spouse or partner (29%) or a friend or neighbor (33%).
When I see that 40.4 million American’s are caregivers for adults 65 and older, I wonder how we are going to manage as a society. What concerns me most is that most American’s do not have basic estate plans.
To be clear, I really don’t care about wills, I want you to understand that every adult over 18 should have a Durable Power of Attorney which is the legal document that names someone to act on your behalf financially; and a medical power of attorney that allows someone to be your medical advocate. These two documents will impact your life when you are LIVING.
We all need these, even in our 20s. By 65, seven out of ten American’s will require three or more years of long-term care. Someone in your life will need these legal powers to help you. Please contact a local estate attorney and get these done, they cost as little as a few hundred dollars. Please know that being married doesn’t mean you automatically have someone that can fill these roles for you. They may not be named on your account, they may not know where to find your account information, they may not know your wishes.
As the person who was the caregiver for my parents financial, medical, and personal needs and wishes, having the information to help them was so important I launched a business to help every American get their own information organized.
After caring for both parents through death, I recognize how much having this information organized made this difficult emotional task easier. I wasn’t worried about account details or where to find documents. I could focus on fulfilling my parent’s wishes for end-of-life. Nothing makes that easy, but at least it was all I really needed to address when that time came. Recommended.