Many of us – in fact, most of us – will feel the effects of caregiving at some point in our lives, regardless of our background, socioeconomic status or location. We may find ourselves caring for a loved one, or we could end up relying on our loved ones to care for us.
Though this may be a routine topic of conversation for individuals in their mid to later stages of life, caregiving is becoming a more frequent discussion among one particular generation: millennials.
Millennials Make Up Large Portion of Caregivers
Millennials in their 20s and 30s, who often are building their careers and starting families, have been left out of the caregiving conversation for years. Why? Perhaps it is because society falsely associates caregiving with aging, neglectfully dismissing other reasons that can lead to the loss of independence. Perhaps, it is because of an entirely different reason. Regardless, caregiving is a topic everyone should be discussing, especially millennials, who make up one-fourth of the caregiving population.
For those 10 million millennials taking caring of a loved one—whether a disabled child, a mentally ill spouse, a parent with failing health, or a grandparent with dementia—approximately 73 percent remain employed.
Millennial Caregivers Face Unique Challenges
A research study conducted by AARP shows that millennial caregivers experience more negative consequences of caregiving than older counterparts and in general are more stressed, more reluctant to discuss caregiving issues with their bosses and coworkers, and less likely to receive sympathy and support from others. Millennial caregivers also typically spend a higher percentage of their income on costs associated with caring for their loved one.
Pairing the stressors of caregiving with other economic and emotional struggles of early adulthood, it comes as no surprise that millennials are one of the most stressed generations. This is why it is so important for millennials embarking on the caregiving journey to join the conversation, plan ahead, and take advantage of the tools and resources available to them.
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