As the Boomers age, more and more people find themselves in the position of having to worry about the elderly living on their own. For people whose parents are now in their 70s and 80s and living alone, this can be a source of great anxiety. “Aging in place”, allowing the elderly to remain in their own homes as they grow older, is a much better choice for most people than being forced to live in a home. With a full time caregiver, seniors can continue to enjoy their independence. For their families, it means that they will be looked after by caring professionals while remaining in their familiar and comfortable surroundings.
A generation ages
The fastest-growing segment of the population in the U.S. consists of people who are 85 years or older. By 2012, the number of people in this demographic was around 5.9 million. As the Boomers – the generation that was born after the Second World War – age, they and their caregivers and children face some difficult choices about senior care.
People in their 70s and 80s and their families have to weigh the risks of living alone against the benefits. While they may feel perfectly capable of managing, their health and sometimes memory is no longer as good as it used to be.
For their children, it can be difficult to come to the conclusion that even if they would like to, they cannot take time off from their own lives, families and jobs to care for elderly parents. It may help them to know that they are not alone. There are around 65.7 million caregivers across the U.S. caring for people who are is ill, disabled or aged. These could be family members or informal caregivers, such as friends or neighbors.
Aging in place
As people grow older, they’re also more reluctant to leave their familiar and comfortable surroundings. That’s why it can be such a major decision for someone trying to decide whether or not their elderly parent should move into a home.
Aging in place is the best choice for most seniors, if the modalities of in home care can be worked out. With full time caregivers, seniors can safely remain in their homes. And their families no longer need to worry about them being alone and hungry, or forgetting to take their medications.
In home care for seniors
For around 90% of seniors staying in their own homes with home care is the best choice. If they can rely on professional full time caregivers to help them with errands, shopping, and cooking, and basic health care needs, they can continue to live in their familiar surroundings.
Very few seniors, only around 9%, say that they would prefer to move to a nursing home with onsite health care facilities. Only 4% say that they would be comfortable moving to a relative’s house.
Caring for the elderly in their own homes is the best choice for many reasons. Unless there are serious health issues which require institutional care, a full time caregiver can provide help with the day to day activities that allow seniors to remain independent.