Millennials are often accused of being a selfish generation focused solely on getting their own needs met. However, this is not a complete picture. While trying to achieve their own goals, millennials play a much bigger role in caregiving for older adults than any other generation. Sadly, they don’t get credit for this. One out of four family caregivers in the U.S. is a millennial. As Baby Boomers age and need more support, this young group is becoming an increasingly important part of the caregiving workforce
One in three young people in America provide unpaid care to an adult friend or relative. They do this while pursuing educational goals, career advancement, relationships and social connections. Another third of Millennials, ages 18-39 believe they will be providing this kind of support in the next five years. Nearly three quarters of millennial caregivers are employed and 53% work full time. Millennials also spend an average of 21 hours per week on caregiving. This is the equivalent of a part time job. More than one in four millennials spends over 20 hours each week providing care, and roughly one in five provides care for at least 40 hours each week.
Recasting the “me-first” Millennial image with a more accurate one, the SCAN Foundation has launched a campaign called Do You Give A Care? Creating a community of Millennials and Get X’ers who are empowered by knowledge and taking on the responsibility of caring for a loved one is their goal.
Talking To Millennial Caregivers
On this episode of the podcast I talk to two Millennials. The first is Rachel Hiles, who cares for her grandmother. The second, acting as co-host is my daughter Laura. The conversation is very interesting when you compare it to all the past guests who are older than myself. Many of them have also completed their caregiving journey. Most of my past guests have been female baby-boomers and I am a Gen X’er.