Looking at the Future Through Someone Else's Eyes: The Status of Elder Care in America
Posted Jun 23 2009 6:55pm
Nobody likes to be thought of as a statistic. Most of us choose to believe that we live relatively happy, healthy lives. Still, when looking at the numbers regarding the state of elder care across the board, one will find that it is riddled with holes and a cause for concern.
At Ageless Elder Care Management we work to close the loop for seniors who want to take advantage of the wealth of services that are available in the Bay Area and beyond, but don't always know how to go about doing so.
To date, the Bay Area alone is home to more than 3,000 elder care facilities with a range of offerings. Each promises quality care, but how can one best choose the right facility for themselves or their loved ones?
It's not just seniors facing challenges, as the ramifications affect us all.
Take, for instance, these real-world examples:
- A Senate committee warns gaps in federal assistance for seniors will only grow as the baby boom generation enters the retirement years.
- The New York Times reports on a Gallup survey of not-yet-retired Americans, that asked if they anticipated having enough money to retire “comfortably” when the time came. For the first time this decade, the majority said they doubted they would have enough saved up to live comfortably when they retire.
- Reports show that 90% of people over the age of 65 have one or more chronic diseases; one third of people over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Within a decade, two out of every three of the baby boom generation will have to take care of their elderly parents.
- Specialied illnesses like Alzheimer's disease affects as many as 5.3 million Americans and has needs very different from someone who is aging and has medical needs generally speaking. The national Alzheimer's Association estimates that Alzheimer's Disease and dementia triple the cost of health care for seniors, in part, the cost is because of the skilled training required to treat it.
- The Boomerater™ Report, deals with some tough decisions that family members confront in taking care of aging parents and relatives. They say that there are a number of factors to consider when seeking elder care including: is the individual willing to move or do they want to stay at home? Do they have access to quality in-home care? Is there a good assisted-living community nearby? What is the financial situation? How is their health and do you anticipate that they may need more care as time goes on?
We're trying to connect some of the dots for people and families to form a more cohesive definition of elder care services as a whole.