Five years ago, your mom was in a nursing home, recovering from a severely broken leg. She was determined to recover, come home, and work herself out of her walker and cane. And she did! Since then she has enjoyed living in her own home and making her own meals. Although she recently agreed to having one meal a day brought in, you can tell that it is time to start the conversations about long term care and the available senior living options. Where will she live? Who will care for her? What is the best setting? She is beginning to show the very early signs of dementia and you know from other friends and family members that it is better to have some plans in place sooner rather than later.
Senior Living Care Decisions Can be Complicated
As the nation and the Catholic Church wait to hear tomorrow’s announcement from Pope Francis, many wonder if his ?Amoris Laetitia,? Latin for ?The Joy of Love,? will include comments about his concern for the universal concerns of families, like poverty, migration, domestic violence, health care, youth unemployment and, the equally important topic of the neglect of children and the elderly. Indeed, the care for the world’s aging population is a concern of many. As nations like Japan continue to deal with an aging population that has too few young care givers, the entire world looks for the best ways to care for the oldest members of their families.
A study by Genworth Financial indicated a concern that not all are willing to address. Their study indicated that as many as half of all the people they surveyed reported that their greatest fear is not of dying. Their greatest fear is of being a burden to their family. While many families initially think that they will be able to keep their aging parent at home, long-term care, illness or dementia can easily become more than what most families are equipped to handle.
This concern about being a burden is nothing new. In fact, in past Japanese cultures, the elderly were so concerned about becoming a burden to their family that they were often willing to take their own lives instead. As reported in a National Public Radio report, Japan is currently experiencing the effects of having nearly 20% of their population being part of the oldest generation. As families have fewer children and the island country strictly limits the entrance of immigrants, the options for caring for the growing elderly population becomes challenging. In some elder housing care settings, robots are being employed to provide both companionship and care.
Shifting Population Trends Require the World to Reconsider Elder Care
While the U.S. is not facing the statistics of having 20% of its population be the oldest generation, they to are preparing for a growing need for senior living and care centers to treat an increasing number of American patients with memory care issues. A 2013 World Alzheimer’s Report indicates the Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia would nearly triple by the year 2050. These increases were expected to severely strain the current caregiving options. , the charity Alzheimer’s Disease International says in a new study released Thursday
In the year 2013, nearly 100 million people globally suffered from the potentially fatal Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to increase to 277 million by 2050. As the greying population continues to grow, more and more families will find themselves making decisions about moving loved ones into senior living communities.
Many retirement facilities, including retirement homes, have embraced the trend of building entire communities that allow residents to move from independent living adult communities to other close by and networked locations that can provide more care.
A look at statistics about assisted living populations paints a picture of some of the choices families should be prepared to make and consider:
- 63 is the average age of retirement.
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America.
- 33% of seniors pass away with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia
- 66% of America’s Alzheimer’s patients are women.
- 40% of residents receive assistance with three or more daily living activities, bathing and dressing are the most common.