By 2030, almost one out of every five Americans, some 72 million people, will be 65 years or older. This is what the American Geriatrics Society is calling the silver tsunami – an enormous wave of Americans living well into their 80’s and 90’s with few willing or able to care for themselves.
Given the choice, most seniors prefer to continue living in their own homes, also known as “aging in place”, remaining independent without intervention from others. This population is the fastest growing group in North America, and also at the highest risk for needing care. Medical science is preventing early sudden deaths, which means elders are living longer with impaired health and greater risk of needing long-term care. Unfortunately, many lose the ability to function on their own and require additional help in the home.
We make plans for everything else in life…getting married, college, vacations, retirement. Why not for aging in place? Most Americans do not make a plan to age in place, although you should start thinking about one before you plan to retire. Creating a plan can prevent unexpected events from turning into crises that compromise one’s ability to live independently. It’s never the best situation to make critical decisions without knowing all your options. Becoming educated on your options and having a plan in place may not only help to avoid problems but will also minimize the crisis when and if it happens.
Often seniors will not admit or recognize the fact that they are unable to do the same things that they used to. It’s hard to imagine that a self-reliant parent may someday reach a point where they will have to alter their lifestyle because of aging. Aging denial very often creates serious problems for the individual and for those around them. Getting older is nothing to be ashamed of, not preparing for old age is.
Aging parents are always quick to respond that they don’t need any help and adult children find themselves in a role reversal when the parent is now the child. Now it’s the child’s turn to arrange meals, pay bills, help with bathing
Think about what kinds of help you may need or want in the near future.
What kind of help can you get to successfully age in place?
It’s important to educate yourself about home and community based services that are available to make independent living possible.
Call us now at 770.419.5652 to speak with a Registered Nurse about home care options