Demographic trends clearly indicate that the US population aging patterns will continue to skew increasingly older for decades to come. Driven largely by healthcare and environmental improvements, the average life expectancy in the industrialized world has increased almost 30 years in the last century, allowing people to routinely live well into their 70s and beyond. A concomitant trend has also emerged as a result of increased longevity – the increased number of family caregivers responsible for managing the diverse needs of an elderly spouse or parent. This chapter reviews these emerging trends and their ramifications in more detail. It will also provide insights into some of the issues facing family caregivers as they attempt to balance this added responsibility along with other demands in their lives. Finally, this chapter will outline some of the technology-driven, needs-based solutions that are necessary for maintaining the quality of life for both the family caregiver and the care recipient.
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