Caring for elderly – An Overview

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Caring for elderly loved ones-who are these older folks?

As one caring for elderly loved ones, have you noticed that the elderly population is growing?   The projections for those who will be caring for caringforeldelrythe elderly are somewhat astounding. The Administration on Aging: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' A Profile of Older Americans:2007 offers these statistics:

Twenty million seniors over the age of eighty-five will populate the United States by the year 2050. This is an increase of almost seventeen-million seniors compared to the three million that were living in 2000.

Thankfully, there is most often family behind those statistics, which makes caring for elderly loved ones through the eyes of love a definite reality and not a frightening out of control statistic.

Caring for elderly loved ones- what do they need?

Caring for elderly parents or loved ones is not without it's challenges.  Caring for elderly can be as demanding as requiring 24 hour care to a daily phone call to check in and see how their day was.   Caring for elderly loved ones may involve caring for elderly loved ones in the home, help making decisions about end of life issues, bill paying, living wills and other medical issues pertaining to aging.  Caring for elderly may also involve finding assisted living or finding a nursing home.

Caring for elderly loved ones - when do I need to start?

It is wonderful if you have the liberty to start long before your help caring for elderly loved ones is needed.  If so, make the time now to discuss important caring for elderly issues ahead of time. However, caring for elderly loved ones often happens abruptly and you are faced with these issues all at once.  In this case, you may need to consult a geriatric care manager, help from siblings, in-home care or more. Don't hesitate to seek out any and all help that you can find.

Caring for elderly loved ones -where should they live?

Once you realize that your help is needed, where should your loved ones live?  If you are having difficulty determining this, it might be helpful to get input from the older folks you are helping.  Unless they are suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia, you can talk to them about where they want to live, are they still fairly independent or do they have limitations that will require outside help, assistance from you or possibly a new home?

Caring for elderly loved ones - How do I find help?

As a caregiver caring for elderly loved ones, you are not alone.  There are many organizations that can help you find the help you need and deserve. Visit the Administration on Aging to find assistance near you.

Are you caring for an elderly loved one?  Where have you found help?   I hope you will leave a comment below to share what you have learned.

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--Mary Nix

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