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Family Structures and Support Strategies in the Older Population: Implications for Baby Boomers Issue Brief

Publication Date

Family Structures and Support Strategies in the Older Population: Implications for Baby Boomers

Brenda C. Spillman, Melissa Favreault, and Eva H. Allen

Urban Institute

December 2020

Link to HTML Version (13 PDF pages)

ABSTRACT: This brief explores the current relationships between family structure--the presence of a spouse and/or children--and caregiving arrangements when people develop long-term services and supports needs. The aim is to better understand the potential implications for increased demand on the formal long-term care system, unmet need, and reliance on Medicaid for baby boomers and future generations if fewer older adults have traditional family caregivers in the future.

This brief was prepared under contract #HHSP233201600024I between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy and RTI International. For additional information about this subject, you can visit the BHDAP home page at or contact the ASPE Project Officers at HHS/ASPE/BHDAP, Room 424E, H.H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201;

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and views expressed in this brief are those of the authors. They do not reflect the views of the Department of Health and Human Services, the contractor or any other funding organization. This brief was completed and submitted in March 2020.