By 2025, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics project there will be almost fifty million persons over sixty five and not in the labor force – about twice the number there was in 1995. Of all the states in the United States, Florida has the highest percentage of senior citizens, followed closely by Maine, West Virginia, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Montana, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon and Arizona.
The fastest growing segment of the U.S. workforce became retirement age in the year 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seventy-eight million Baby Boomers, starting from the year 2006, will begin turning sixty years old, at the rate of almost 8,000 per day. The Boomers represent thirty seven percent of the nation’s population over the age of sixteen.
A study by AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) found that thirty three million Americans will take on the responsibility of caring for their aging relatives themselves, as unpaid caregivers. For many Americans, life at forty, fifty or even sixty years old will include care for an aging parent or relative.
As we grow older, the baby boomers, Generation X and everyone in between will be touched in some way by the issues of elder care. It is a never-ending maze of doctors, specialists, health care facility choices, hospice, estate planning, benefits and stress. You find yourself asking so many questions:
How do you know if your parents need an assisted living facility or skilled nursing care, or even what the distinctions between those two levels are?
When do you make a move, and better yet, how do you approach your parents with the discussion?
How do you know that one of your parents needs end-of-life care from hospice?
How do you convince your parent that it’s not safe for him to drive anymore?
How do you protect the family assets while maintaining eligibility for government benefits?
How do you pay for it all?
I’m here to tell you the answers are not easy, nor are they easily discovered. It is my hope that through my years of experience in the world of senior care, others may learn a few things to help their individual paths go a little more smoothly. Check back here often for information to help you care for your aging loved ones.