As the typical primary caregivers of family members, women have always been used to looking out for others. However, they have not always had as heavy of a caregiving burden as they do today. Culturally, there has been a swing from years ago. Back in the 1930s, for example, it was common for as many as three generations to live in the same house. This allowed more family members to help out when someone in the house became ill. In today’s age, however, families are often spread across the country, further burdening women to take sole responsibility over sick family members.
Apart from a cultural swing, there is also a trend toward the increasing population of nursing homes. Research has predicted that the nursing home population will grow to as many as 4 million residents by 2021, the year the oldest baby boomer turns 75. Clearly, there will be a rising need for long term care, with women making up 72 percent of the population age 85 and older, according to the National Institute on Aging.