Rising number of childless elderly poses future long-term care challenges, new report suggests

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The growing number of childless seniors in developed countries may cause caregiving problems in the future. That is according to a new report from the U.S. Census bureau, "An Aging World: 2008."

Most of the world's elderly population receives assistance and support from adult children rather than institutional care, the report shows. But the proportion of childless elderly persons is also fast on the rise, according to the report. The current percentage of U.S. women over the age of 65 with no children hovers at around 10%. In 2006, the number of women aged 40 to 44 without children rose to 20%, indicating fewer seniors in the future will be able to rely on adult children for living assistance.

In 2000, the percentage of Americans over the age of 65 living in long-term care facilities was 4.2%. As childless rates continue to climb alongside the rising overall population of elderly, those factors could contribute to an additional strain on institutional services, the findings of the report suggest. The population of people aged 65 and older worldwide increases by roughly 870,000 every month, according to the report.
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