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Archive for September, 2010

Today’s Baby Boomers to Experience a Different Type of Family Circle in their Elderly Years

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Professor Jacques Legare recently presented a paper at the 2010 Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences regarding the availability of the family circle of the elderly and how it will change drastically over the next 20 years.

Right now, many elderly seniors are being cared for by their offspring. In his paper, Professor Legare makes note of the fact that approximately 70% of all elderly people in need are provided care by their ‘informal network’ - essentially their children or spouse. This is possible because most elderly couples of today have stable relationships and had many children. On the other hand, their children, our baby boomers, have quite a different situation. 

Statistics show that the baby boomer cohort is unlike any other and circumstances such as divorce, common-law relationships, fewer children and mixed families must be taken into consideration.

With fewer children and more unstable relationships to rely on, who will care for our baby boomers when they are elderly?

Professor Legare’s paper suggests that baby boomers will likely have to turn to the public system for care, or may need to pay for the assistance they require. For those unwilling to pay, non-traditional methods may need to be explored and baby boomers could feel the need to turn to friends, siblings and extended family members. As a response, public systems must adapt to accommodate for the needs of this unique demographic group as they age.

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