Holidays: A Chance to Plan

By 9  pm on

Getting together with family over the holidays can be fun and exciting. It also often brings to light the difficulties aging parents or loved ones may be having in their day-to-day life. (See recent article Holidays: A Chance to Assess).  

With the increasing number of aging Baby Boomers, more and more families will be confronting the issues of caregiving for elderly loved ones (see chart above). Here are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 

  • Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years 
  • Women need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years) 
  • One-third of today’s 65 year-olds may never need long-term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years 
  • More people use long-term care services at home (and for longer) than in facilities 

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) surveyed 335 aging experts that provide advice to families to help them keep aging parents in their own homes and prevent premature placement in a nursing home. 

Here are the top five tips identified by experts in the survey (along with the percentage of survey respondents selecting each option): 

  1. Assess your parent’s financial and care needs and available resources. Design a plan of care that supports wellness and encourages social interaction based on your parent’s values (90.0 percent). 
  2. Hire a professional to conduct an in-home assessment to look at the home environment, identify needs, obstacles and safety hazards and make recommendations to keep an aging parent home (85.8 percent). 
  3. Identify and arrange for any needed home modifications, community resources, paid and unpaid care and medical supports to assure home safety and support aging in place (84.7 percent). 
  4. Identify and understand your parent’s preferences (67.6 percent). 
  5. Identify the community support systems and programs that are available, including those that are low cost, free or part of entitlement programs (67.3 percent). 

 “Confronting the need to move into a nursing home or other facility can be one of the most painful and difficult challenges facing aging adults – it is an issue that geriatric care managers deal with on a daily basis,” said NAPGCM President Jullie Gray. “The good news is that there are many steps that can be taken to help seniors remain in their homes. With some planning and thought, many people can age in place in their homes and communities – and there is ample evidence that living at home can lead to a longer and more fulfilling life,” she added. 

Genworth recently released its Cost of Care Survey 2019, highlighting the importance of planning ahead for the expense of accessing care for the elderly. For the Columbus area, they found that median monthly 2019 costs for in-home care were $4,624; assisted living averaged $3,945 per month, and a private room in a nursing home was $8,000 a month. It’s easy to see why making a financial plan for the future is key – and while it may be a difficult family conversation to have, it’s an important one. And it’s an easier conversation to have before a crisis occurs. 

If you are looking for high-quality, professional home care services, give Assisting Hands serving Northern Kentucky a call or schedule a consultation. Our caregivers are specially trained in everything from medication support to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Whatever you need, whenever and wherever you need it, Assisting Hands serving Northern Kentucky is there for you. 

Source: National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). Geriatric care managers are professionals who have extensive training and experience working with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. To learn more, visit the NAPGCM website (www.caremanager.org). 

Source: Assisting Hands® in association with IlluminAge, ©