What's your plan to age at home?
- What Can Alexa do for You?
By Carol Marak
Chief Public Relations Officer, Aging Alone Spokesperson & Advocate
AARP says 89 percent of adults age 60 and over want to stay at home as long as possible. If that's the case for you, how do you plan to go about it? Have you saved enough money to hire for in-home care? What's the plan when you don't feel driving isn't safe anymore? How will you get around and run errands? Will you depend on online ordering and delivery for food and other necessary items?
In an email to me, a reader said, "A lot of us don't want to think about questions or problems that seem too complicated, or perhaps the answers we might face are discouraging, so we might avoid them. I have a couple of suggestions for you & an offer:"
Solutions, like, (a) If you haven't got plans in place, talk about the issues with your children, or a trusted friend, or a commission on aging consultant as soon as possible. (b) Go to AARP website for various resources.
Often, I direct readers to resources, and learning the statistics on older adults bears repeating.
Facts on Senior Care
--10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day and over 50 Million Americans are 65+ years
--Over $30 billion are lost annually by employers due to employees providing elder care for their loved ones (AARP)--Cost of long-term care needs for seniors is over $300 billion
--One fifth of older people will incur more than $25,000 in lifetime out-of-pocket longer term care costs before they die
--Lost income and benefits over a caregiver's lifetime ranging from a total of $283,000 for males and $324,000 for females
--The total estimate aggregate lost wages, pension, and Social Security benefits of these caregivers of parents is nearly $3 trillion
Living with Chronic Conditions
--Chronic illness has replaced acute illness as the major health problem of older adults-and increasingly so as medicine evolves
--In 1984, more than 80 percent of older adults had one or more chronic health conditions. By 2005, that percentage had increased to 91 percent
--Between 1981 and 2009, the death rates for heart disease and stroke fell by more than 50 percent. These conditions did not disappear; rather, people are surviving and living with the chronic consequences of cardiovascular disease
--Diabetes reported by persons age 65+ increased from 13 percent in 1997-1998 to nearly 21 percent in 2009-2010. The prevalence of diabetes among adults age 65+ increased by more than 50 percent between 1997 and 2006 (CMS, 1997, 2006).
--In 2009-2010, 38 percent of people age 65+ were obese, compared with 22 percent in 1988-1994
Next week, I'll discuss aging in place remedies and helpful solutions.
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Carol Marak, aging advocate and editor at Seniorcare.com. She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.
Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column
Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.