Barron’s had a great article about an ongoing problem in America. The fastest-growing demographic group in the United States is senior citizens. The AARP says that two-thirds will need long-term services. More than one in five adults—an estimated 53 million—were caregivers in 2020. Caregiver is the most common occupation.

As the number of Americans age 65+ soars (81 million by 2040) millions will live alone. This leads to depression and physical and mental decline. A Harvard University study says that 58% of Americans over 80 already live alone.

Caring for a parent, relative or neighbor in their declining years is a labor of love. But from an economic standpoint, who would do it for a stranger? It’s a difficult, often thankless and extremely low-paying job. According to, the median salary is about $28,000, meaning that half of all caregivers make less than that. That’s $538 a week before taxes. This helps explain why there’s a national shortage of paid caregivers now, and AARP projects it’ll get worse. 

If you are looking for a caregiver for yourself, or a relative, AARP has a good resource guide. It’s never too early to plan, and never too early to discover what resources may be available to you or a loved one.