RISMEDIA, May 13, 2011-Members of the largest demographic group in American history, Baby Boomers, will begin turning 65 next year. According to Alternatives for Seniors, as these men and women join a senior citizen population that continues to live longer lives, many in the country will face the becoming a caregiver for a parent or loved one and being involved first hand with senior care challenges.
The sons and daughters of an aging population have no easy task ahead of them in determining how to care for elderly loved ones, but if caregivers take the time to consider available senior housing and care options and start planning sooner than later, the challenges faced by the demographic changes in America's population will not be too much to handle.
According to AgingStats.Gov - Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics, about 13 percent of the American population is currently 65 or older and that number is expected to grow to 20 percent (or 72 million people) by the year 2030. Also, as the life expectancy grows, the number of people age 85 or older is expected to jump from 5.7 million to 19 million by the year 2050. These statistics show sons, daughters, friends, and family all across the county they need to prepare themselves for very difficult choices about the caregiver role they may need to play and the long term care their loved one may need.
A study by the Family Caregiver Alliance estimates that 39 million people have become an informal or family caregiver to somebody age 50 or older. These informal caregivers are individuals who provide either full or part-time care free of charge. While it is excellent there are so many loving people who are willing to care for a loved one in this way, as a result caregiver stress has become an increasing problem. Caregivers run a risk of increased blood pressure and insulin levels, increased rates of depression, and for caregivers who are over 65 themselves, an increased mortality rate.
Rather than take on the role of an informal caregiver, another option is to invest in long term care. Determining what form of long term care is necessary can be a difficult decision for a caregiver given there are so many options: home care, day programs, senior housing, independent living, assisted living, nursing and rehab centers, and continuing care communities. Each type of long term care has its own distinct advantages based on the level of care that is needed.
While the financial picture is different for each caregiver, everybody can plan ahead by exploring the options for long term care with their loved one. It is important to include the senior in discussion of their care and listen to their concerns. The caregiver should also include friends, family, and other who have influence in the decision making process.
The print and nationwide senior housing and care online directory provides detailed listings on Independent Living, Senior Apartments, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, Alzheimer's Centers, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Home Care and other services. The directories assist families by separating the options by level of care or service and geographic area making it easy to use and understand all options at a glance.
"Alternatives for Seniors' mission is to provide seniors, families and healthcare professionals with the senior care resources and tools they need to make educated, informed decisions and to understand the options available to them," says Anita Kremer, president of Alternatives for Seniors. "Whether a family's needs are immediate or planning for the future, the information and tools provided is of great value."
For more information visit http://www.AlternativesforSeniors.com.
2008 RISMedia, Inc., All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.