RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey released today by Legacy Navigator revealed the role of caregiving has significantly evolved as more people, particularly Gen Xers, identify as caregivers. The "Legacy Navigator National Care Survey" found that over 80% of the participants identified as a caregiver. While many people (69% female / 31% male) identified as caregiver, only 30% said they "felt very prepared to make estate decisions and knew what was expected of me."
"In the past, we've thought of caregivers as people, often paid professionals, who support the sick or disabled," said Pete Shrock, Co-Founder and Chief People Officer for Legacy Navigator. "The survey revealed the Modern Caregiver role has expanded from health support to include estate settlement and cleanout," said Shrock. "The caregiver's role is expanding both physically and emotionally." More than 65% of the 1,000 surveyed were not named official Executors of Estates, yet helped make important estate decisions. "Today's caregivers are the first responders for our aging population."
Taking on the role of a Modern Caregiver isn't easy at any age. But, when it comes to Gen X, the survey revealed particularly tough realities:
- Gen X is Caught by Surprise – This generation is running a million miles an hour. More than 75% have children under age 18 living at home and nearly 70% are working full time. So, when asked about their loss, 50% said it was completely unexpected.
- Financials are Foreign - Nearly 2/3 have no idea how much money is in their parents' bank account. And, according to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau, the average American over the age of 65 has about $800 in their bank account.
- Caregiving is a Second Job – 68% are still working a full time job and, while leave to care for a sick child is often allowed, caring for a parent is not yet mainstream.
"Our survey results came in right about the same time an article, "The New Midlife Crisis" from Oprah Magazine was circulating around the office," said Shrock. "Unfortunately, our results meant Gen X women, already juggling so many tasks, will have one more significant thing on their plate."
A lot of the hard work provided by a Modern Caregiver comes after the loss. More than 83% of those surveyed said dealing with "the stuff" (house cleanout) was the most stressful part of the experience. "The process of cataloguing and sorting through all the items in the house to determine which items to keep, sell, donate or trash can be completely overwhelming," said Matt Paxton, Legacy Navigator Founder and former host of television's Hoarders.
More than 68% said dealing with other family members throughout the process was also highly stressful. "The combination of the physical and emotional stress can really take its toll on the Modern Caregiver," said Shrock. "As we mark National Caregiver Awareness Month, it is important we recognize the strength and resiliency of the Modern Caregiver," said Shrock.
"As a company our role is to provide resources to families under extreme stress," said Paxton. "Those resources range from managing the entire estate cleanout and sale process to offering free checklists."
Good Run Research conducted the online survey in October 2017. A random sample of 1,010 men and women, ages 35-74+ across the United States was invited to participate. Respondents were screened in order to qualify for the study. Screening criteria included 1) recently experienced loss of loved one or helped loved one downsize/relocated within the past 5 years 2) loved one owned a home. No quotas were given to gender, age, ethnicity, region of country, or employment status. A complete copy of the survey is available for download here.
About Legacy Navigator
Founded in 2016, Legacy Navigator is a pioneer in estate cleanout, organization and settlement. Helping families process the physical and emotional hurdles that come with downsizing and loss, Legacy Navigator provides relief to families regardless of estate value. For additional information visit legacynavigator.com
SOURCE Legacy Navigator