Our Aging Parents – A Catch-22

by

[x_section style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; "][x_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" bg_color="" style="margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_column bg_color="" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_image type="none" src="http://aristahc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/At-the-beach.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][x_text]Our Aging Parents: A Catch 22 Facing Most Families

Many seniors are reluctant to spend the rainy day money they have saved throughout the years, not understanding that this is the rainy day.

Most seniors do not want assistance. They value their independence and dignity and pride themselves on being able to take care of themselves. Asking for help signals the admission of old age and the dreaded loss of freedom. But their families can usually see that they need help, especially the family members who carry the biggest share of the load in assisting their elderly loved ones.

Since seniors are many times reluctant to have strangers (outside help) in their home, they prefer to have family members help out when needed, even though they say that they understand how busy their children are. In other words, seniors do not want to be a burden to their children, (i.e., be taken care of by them) and at the same time, they want only family to take care of them.

This quandary is further compounded because many seniors, and even their children, are reluctant to spend the rainy day money they have saved throughout the years, not understanding that this is the rainy day. Since many seniors live on fixed incomes and view home help as a non-essential or discretionary expense, the result is that family relationships are many times strained because it is the children and even grandchildren who wind up in the caregiving role. Unfortunately, it often takes a serious crisis to bring the issues to the surface, and initiate the search for professional caregiving help.

Caregiver Information & Statistics:

The demands placed on family and other informal caregivers are escalating, affecting nearly every American family. It"s everyone"s greatest fear. A parent starts to forget things. He or she becomes bewildered, confused, and angry. Finally, they can"t take care of themselves and need full-time care. Adult children are increasingly faced with their greatest nightmare - parents who are as helpless as young children.

Nearly a third of U.S. households are now involved in caring for an elderly family member or relative, spending an average of 20 hours a week performing caregiving related activities. That’s 20 hours a week that’s not being spent as quality time with their parents and children, but doing chores and tasks.

Unfortunately, it often takes a serious crisis to bring the issues to the surface, and initiate the search for professional caregiving help.

  • Approximately 66% of family caregivers are female, mostly wives and adult daughters or daughter-in-laws. Statistically speaking, men have become significantly more involved in family caregiving than they were just 15 years ago.
  • Nearly 70% of family caregivers are also employed outside of their caregiving role.
    (Source: National Family Caregivers Association)
  • Family caregivers can expect to spend 18 years of their life helping an aging parent in addition to the 17 years caring for their children.
  • The average age of a family caregiver is 55. More than one in three family caregivers, however, are seniors themselves (65 years of age or older).
  • About 80% of caregivers provide unpaid assistance seven days a week.
  • More than 60% of all family caregivers say they have suffered from depression.
  • Long distance caregivers miss nearly 15 million days of work each year.
    (Source: National Council on Aging)
  • Long-term family caregiving takes a significant toll on workers. Lost productivity, absenteeism, interruptions and replacing employees due to elder care, costs American business in excess of $17.1 billion annually.
    (Source: The MetLife Caregiving Cost Study - Productivity Losses to U.S. Business)
  • A significant decline in the number of family caregivers is occurring in the U.S., while at the same time, the demand for elder care is increasing. Statistically, as the baby boomer generation ages, the ratio of family members to seniors requiring assistance has dropped below a 7:1 ratio. Alarmingly, that figure is projected to drop as low as 3:1 within the next 20 years.

It’s upon us, welcome to the age of the Silver Tsunami.[/x_text][x_author title="About the Author" author_id="2"][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This