Sandwiches and Caregivers During AEP

October 1st marked the beginning of the Medicare marketing period leading into the enrollment period known at AEP (Annual Enrollment Period) which begins on 10/15. [For more on how Silverlink is helping clients with AEP – click here.] More to come on this topic, but for right now, I was just reading an article about the sandwich generation which made me think about this.

Traditionally, we think of sandwich generation as those that have young kids and parents to care for. Increasingly, that “young kids” age is getting stretched out as kids move back in post-college or even as they lose their jobs later in their career.

Perhaps, some of this will be good as we go through more integration of multiple generations into single households as other cultures experience, but it certainly is creating financial stress for the baby boomers. As you think about your marketing, this is just another wrinkle.

For example, according to Strategic Business Insights’ MacroMonitor, 39% of households headed by 60-64 year olds had primary mortgages compared with 22% in 1994. And, as we know, it’s often harder to get out of those houses these days as many people are unwater or can’t sell their homes.

How does this change our caregiver strategy as a healthcare provider? (assuming you even have a caregiver strategy)

On this caregiver point, here are some statistics from the National Family Caregivers Association:

More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.
Caregiving in the United States;
National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009
The value of the services family caregivers provide for “free,” when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion).
Evercare Survey of the Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Family Caregiving;
National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. March 2009
The typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman caring for her widowed 69-year-old mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed. Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women. More than 37% have children or grandchildren under 18 years old living with them.
Caregiving in the United States;
National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP. November 2009
1.4 million children ages 8 to 18 provide care for an adult relative; 72% are caring for a parent or grandparent; and 64% live in the same household as their care recipient. Fortunately, most are not the sole caregiver.
National Alliance for Caregiving and the United Hospital Fund, Young Caregivers in the U.S., 2005.
51% of care recipients live in their own home, 29% live with their family caregiver, and 4% live in nursing homes and assisted living.
Caregiving in the United States;
National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP. November 2009
36% of family caregivers care for a parent and 7 out of 10 caregivers are caring for loved ones over 50 years old.
Caregiving in the United States;
National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP. November 2009
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