Boomers search for senior care options as caregiving becomes “the new normal”
By Colleen Van Horn, RN, BSN, PHN, CCM
Families have always coped with the struggles of caregiving; but now, with nearly 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, the need for advanced senior care options is taking center stage in families across the nation. CNN reports that there are currently 43.5 million Americans taking care of someone over age 50, based on information from the Family Caregiver Alliance. And with boomers edging into that over-50 group, many are finding themselves simultaneously providing and requiring care in order to maintain an optimal quality of life.
With life expectancy higher than ever before, the baby boomers may be the first generation to dedicate as much of their lives to senior care as childcare. Lynn Feinberg, senior policy adviser for AARP, describes the current caregiving phenomenon as “the ‘new normal’” for American households. But these days, the necessary balancing act required for adequate care may seem anything but normal to the majority of caregivers and their loved ones.
According to a 2011 AARP Public Policy Institute study, the average caregiver as of 2009 was:
- 49 years old
- Employed outside the home
- Caregiving nearly 20 hours/week
However, many such women (and men, for that matter), do not see themselves as caregivers – and subsequently, they fail to seek out the financial, professional, emotional and physical resources necessary to help find and maintain appropriate care strategies while tending to their own health and well being. In light of these trends, experts are referring to family elder care as the nation’s next health crisis – and urging advanced planning and acknowledgement of the situation at had as key preparedness strategies to avoid the sudden onslaught of overwhelming responsibilities and expenses.
Planning ahead: how a professional geriatric care manager can help ease the burden of family caregiving
Industry commentators agree that, especially in today’s economic climate, there are fewer community-based resources for caregivers – as well as greater challenges in the form of current health care system policies and expenses. Faced with such odds, families may wish to hire a geriatric care manager to discuss the details of their individual situation and determine the best course of action for their loved ones.
At Innovative Healthcare Consultants, we recognize that no two families are alike — and that each individual senior and her family will need to make different care choices based on their unique needs and lifestyle requirements. That’s why our skilled geriatric care managers are trained to offer custom guidance especially for you – from financial planning and assisted living to medical care and everyday activities. To learn more about Innovative Healthcare Consultants and get personalized assistance today, visit us online at www.innovativehc.com.
- Geriatric care managers offer advocacy alternatives for harried caregivers
- Baby boomers brace for eldercare challenges
- Medicare cuts threaten elder care facilities – and prompt seniors to seek out creative alternatives
- When it comes to coping with aging parents, men are more vulnerable – and face a higher risk for eldercare stress
- Senior citizens set to receive first Social Security raise since 2009
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