10 million Americans are now caring for aging parents

Nearly 10 million adults age 50 and over are now caring for an aging parent, according to a new study published by MetLife.

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of men and women providing parental care over the past decade and a half, the study notes. In 1994, only 9 percent of women and 3 percent of men in that age group were providing care to parents. By 2008, the percentage of female caregivers had more than tripled to 28 percent, while the figure for males had quintupled to 17 percent.

Daughters are more likely to provide help with personal activities such as dressing, eating and bathing, while sons are more likely to provide financial assistance, the study found.

Americans who take time off from work to care for their parents are losing a great deal of money, according to MetLife. For the individual female caregiver, the impact in terms of lost wages, pension and Social Security benefits averages $324,044. For male caregivers, the figure is $283,716.

The study, “Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring for Their Parents,” can be found at http://www.caregiving.org/archives/1773

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