A new perspective on caregiving is on the rise as we experience the shift of generations aging. Learning how the next generation of caregivers is responding to the emotional, physical, and mental stress they experience gives us an insight into the future of caregiving. Even more, how can we lighten the load they carry? What can we do to help them thrive as individuals? We invite you to explore the world of millennial caregivers and all that comes with it.
Who are the Millennial Caregivers?
The US is home to an average of 40 million caregivers with every 1 in 4 being millennials. This generation is known to be born from 1980 – 1996. They are recognized as “the most diverse generation of caregivers (race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation)” according to research done by AARP.
In addition, millennials are the generation with the highest number of employed caregivers. Seventy-three percent of them work while usually caring for an aging parent or grandparent. Not to mention, the person they care for will most likely have at least one health condition. The time they spend carrying for them also varies. Averaging anywhere from 20 to 40 hours per week on caregiver duties.
Moreover, research has found that 47% of millennial caregivers are males. Making it the highest number ever seen. Seeing the diversity of this growing community gives us an idea of where caregiving may be heading next.
The Challenges For Millennial Caregivers
Feeling unprepared for the role is an overwhelming experience most caregivers have in common. For millennials, their biggest challenges include balancing work life, access to support networks, and resources.
In the workplace, it is common to see the needs of those taking care of aging adults be less understood. For this reason, millennials are less likely to report their caregiving role to a supervisor. Eventually, trying to balance work and caregiver duties will trigger the negative effects of burnout and stress.
Finding support outside of work can be just as difficult. Many of the resources millennials come across are “developed primarily for the quintessential caregiver — a middle-aged female with a well-established career,” according to an article by Meet Caregivers.
Millennials will take on a caregiver role when they are also employed. This can be an additional source of stress for them as it is for all working caregivers. The lack of resources forces many to give up their career and personal goals. Cases like this are highlighted by NPR in the article titled “As Parents And Grandparents Age, More And More Millennials Are Family Caregivers.”
Other common challenges for millennial caregivers include:
- Decline in mental and physical health
- Financial burden
- Millennial stereotypes
- Lack of health insurance
ECG Offers Solutions For the Next Generation
ECG has been working hard at creating solutions to be a helping hand for you. Our many years of patient-centered research have led us to better understand your needs and those of the people you care for.
Our medical alert devices can help protect and empower seniors to better manage their health and Electronic Caregiver customizes the system to address the specific needs of individual users. The Pro Health System, for example, is perfect for at-home use. It includes remote patient monitoring, medication reminders, and 24/7 emergency response. On the other hand, the Premier system is there for those who are on the go. In addition to 24/7 emergency response and medication reminders, the Premier offers GPS and physician-on-demand services.
Nonetheless, our mission is to provide peace of mind, encourage independence, and create better health outcomes. Whether it’s a fall, a change in health, or an unexpected situation, we are ready to help.
The fact is that caregiving isn’t an easy responsibility to take on. Consequently, there are challenges along the way but know that you are not alone. Our team of professionals is constantly finding ways to better the resources we provide for all caregivers. You are part of a growing community filled with compassion and willingness to help others. We see it and celebrate your resilience every day.