Seniors' Month - The Reality of our Aging Population

June is Seniors' Month, an opportunity to honour the seniors who have contributed so much. We are featuring 4 topical trends of senior care this month.

1st week (this week): The reality of our aging population

2nd week: How technology is affecting seniors’ care

3rd week: The role of the caregiver

4th week: The emergence of family-focused care

The Reality of Our Aging Population

With a rapidly growing senior population, it is time for us all to take part in the burgeoning senior care industry in a meaningful way.

Some staggering statistics regarding seniors care and the aging population:

  1. In 1990, there were 11 possible caregivers for every elderly family member; in 2050 there will be 4 possible caregivers for every elderly family member;
  2. It is predicted that the need for elder care will grow by an annual compounded rate of seven percent
  3. Every day there are about 10,000 individuals in North America who turns 65 years old;
  4. Research has shown that Alzheimer's and dementia tops the list of health concerns that require caregiving;
  5. Older adults overwhelmingly express a desire to age in place--83% of seniors have asserted that they want to live in their own home or their families home.

The Need for Respite for Family Caregivers

Becoming a caregiver for an aging loved one can deal a serious blow to a family caregiver's career and personal life. Since the vast majority of spousal caregivers are either in or nearing retirement when their partners start to require care, it is the careers of adult children that are hardest hit by caregiving responsibilities.

Forty-three percent of sons and 42% of daughters agree or strongly agree that their professional career has suffered as a result of their caregiving while 15% of husbands and 25% of wives say the same.

One-quarter of daughters had to quit their job to attend to a parent in need, compared to 17% of sons. An additional 29% of daughters and 32% of sons had to reduce their working hours to help care for their parents.

There are several types of respite services:

  • Informal family support and relief
  • Online caregiver communities and video workshops
  • Volunteer or paid companionship
  • Personal care or skilled health assistance
  • Adult day programs
  • Residential respite seniors care
  • Caregiver support groups

As our population ages, and the family caregivers are sandwiched between generations, communications and technology will be key to managing expectations for the care of the elderly.

  • Talking openly and regularly. Keep everyone up to date on your loved one’s seniors care needs and condition. Family members who don’t share the day-to-day caretaking experience may not fully appreciate the situation.
  • Encouraging family members to evaluate what they can reasonably and honestly do. Changing roles and varying resource levels can impact family involvement. Welcome different viewpoints, accept limitations, and be willing to try alternate strategies. Share your list of needs and take advantage of all offers to help.
  • Recognizing your own feelings and discussing disproportionate tasks. Harboring resentment, when you need more help, can lead to your burnout and impaired health. Ask directly for concrete support and specific time commitments. Consider establishing an online calendar to organize relief and reconfirm schedules.
  • Using technology to bridge distances. Try free video conferencing services to hold family meetings at times that work for everyone. Create a web-based community to share updates and explore options for seniors care.
  • Exploring a family respite cooperative. Consider trading respite services with other caregivers and their families. Pooling resources with others in the same situation can encourage greater involvement, reduce costs, and increase flexibility.
  • Participating in support groups. Learning how other families cope can suggest new options and provide reassurance. When siblings are unable or unwilling to share the load, peer support can be invaluable when it comes to seniors care.

Celebrate senior's month by better education and open communication! It will result in better outcomes for seniors care.

Respite Care Packages

If you or a loved one requires respite care in the Greater Toronto or Calgary areas, book a free senior care assessment with Mavencare and get first 3hrs free when you book 10 or more hours.

or call at 1-800-856-2836

Here is a link to a great resource for respite care:

http://www.stchrishouse.org/older-adults/respite-care/home-support-links-res.php