I am in Cleveland Ohio to speak for The Benjamin Rose Institute, which has been helping seniors since 1908! I wonder what caregiving was really like way back then? They say in those days family generations lived together, so most elders (average lifespan was 55) were taken care of by their families at home.
I also wonder what it will be like when I get to the age of needing help-along with 78 million Baby Boomers (average lifespan is now 77), who by-and-large did not care for their elders in their homes and thus didn’t teach their children by example how to care for them when they reach old age.
And then, so many of the Baby Boomers got divorced and remarried, so many caregivers in the next generation will likely have more than just two elders to worry about. And, the BB’s are going to question everything, instead of accepting physician advice without question like so many of their parents did. It’s pretty scary to think about, since our lifespans are getting longer each year, and the population behind the BB’s is a much smaller group.
And there is already a shortage of Geriatricians (MD’s who care for elders), as young medical students prefer to go into other specialties where they can cure their patients, and who can blame them? Where will all the much-needed caregivers and eldercare medical professionals come from?
This is what we eldercare advocates are trying to get across to the public–a HUGE health care crisis is coming–plan ahead! Don’t stick your head in the sand and hope you just get hit by a bus, which is what my mother always used to say. Unfortunately, most of us are not going to pass away in our sleep and are instead headed for a long rough exit.
So, what plans have you made for your old age? Please share with us in the message boards.
You can learn more about Jacqueline and find information about her book at ElderRage.com.
Published On: October 06, 2006