Elder Care Issues

Advice on tackling common health care issues affecting the senior population and resources to turn to for help.

Home Care, Housing and a Surging Aging Population

heidi Elder Care Issues, Resources for Seniors Comments Off on Home Care, Housing and a Surging Aging Population
An astounding one out of three American households will be headed by someone aged 65 or older.

An astounding one out of three American households will be headed by someone aged 65 or older.

Over the next twenty years, the population aged 65 and over is expected to grow from 48 million to 79 million. Meanwhile, the number of households headed by someone in that age group will increase by 66 percent to almost 50 million—with the result that by 2035, an astounding one out of three American households will be headed by someone aged 65 or older, according to a report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

Older adults’ homes and living situations are keys to their quality of life and capacity to live independently. The expansion of the older population will increase the need for affordable, accessible housing that is well-connected to services well beyond what current supply can meet. In addition, the home is an increasingly important setting for the delivery of long-term care, a trend likely to grow over the next two decades as millions more seek to remain in their current dwellings while coping with disabilities and health challenges.

Over the next two decades, many older households will have the financial means to secure housing and supportive services suited to their needs as they age. The focus for these households should be on making informed choices about potential living situations and locations, investments in home modifications, and care—before physical or financial needs become pressing.

Yet over the same period, millions of low-income older households will struggle to pay for appropriate housing and necessary supportive services. For these households, basic housing costs will drain resources needed to pay for home modifications or in-home services, and may force reductions in spending on critical needs like food and healthcare.

The nation is now at the beginning of a twenty-plus-year surge in the older population, and is thus at a critical point for putting in place the affordable housing options, accessibility features, and in-home care services that will be needed over the next two decades. Transportation and technologies to ensure people can remain engaged in their communities and access supportive services are also needed.

While many older adults indicate that they prefer to age in their current residences, a wider array of housing types can offer safer, more affordable, and lower-maintenance homes within existing communities, improving housing situations without uprooting older adults from the places they have called home for years or even decades.

Read the entire study here.

 


Meals On Wheels Wants To Be The ‘Eyes And Ears’ For Hospitals, Doctors

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Kaiser Health News: Meals On Wheels Wants To Be The ‘Eyes And Ears’ For Hospitals, Doctors 
Anna Gorman reports: “Meals on Wheels is undergoing a dramatic overhaul as government and philanthropic funding fails to keep pace with a rapidly growing elderly population. The increased demand has resulted in lengthy waitlists and a need to find other sources of funding. And at the same time, for-profit companies such as Mom’s Meals are creating more competition. Meals on Wheels, which has served seniors for more than 60 years through a network of independent nonprofits, is trying to formalize the health and safety checks its volunteers already conduct during their daily home visits to seniors.” (Gorman, 1/10)


KHN: Alone And Aging: Creating A Safety Net For Isolated Seniors

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 The combination of increased longevity, the large and graying baby boom generation, the decline in marriage, the rise in divorce, increased childlessness and family mobility has upended the traditional caregiving support system.

The combination of increased longevity, the large and graying baby boom generation, the decline in marriage, the rise in divorce, increased childlessness and family mobility has upended the traditional caregiving support system.

Kaiser Health News: Alone And Aging: Creating A Safety Net For Isolated Seniors 
Sharon Jayson reports: “Phyllis Krantzman knows what she should do, but like many of her peers, the 71-year-old doesn’t know how to approach a casual acquaintance to ask who will take care of her when she needs it most. Krantzman, of Austin, Texas, is among a growing number of seniors who find themselves alone just when aging and end-of-life care becomes real.” (Jayson, 11/28)