Record number of Americans becoming senior caretakers

A growing number of Americans are redefining what retirement really looks like. More people are working and caring for someone 65 years or older at home.

Martha Clinkscales, who is nearing retirement age, is a caretaker for multiple generations under one roof.
“My nest is never going to be empty,” Clinkscales says.

The 61-year-old has a lot on her plate. Not only does she take part in the care of her 94-year-old father-in-law, she also owns and runs her own homecare business in Atlanta—a business she started more than 30 years ago.

“I have a lot of commitments to keep,” she says.

On top of it all, Clinkscales has a 14-year-old son. She says although having her son, Rush, at 46 years old was unexpected, she says it has been joyful.

“I have never been off,” she says. “I’ve never had a year where I haven’t had to provide for myself and someone else.”

Retirement for Clinkscales looks more like a distant dream than a near reality.

“Full retirement with Social Security is 66 and 6 months, but I’ll probably not retire and stop working until I’m closer to 70,” Clinkscales says.

The truth is, the price tag on aging is a lot more than she expected. Recent studies show a record number of 1 in 5 Americans are working and caring for at least one other person over the age of 65.

“Having children, having parents, having work, it’s a very full schedule,” she says. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but it’s a lot.

The care of aging Americans is an important topic to Clinkscales ahead of the midterm elections.

“I’m all in favor for as much support as the government can offer to aging.”


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