I want to help my mother to live as independently as possible for as long as she can, but we are thinking about long-term senior care down the road. My mother and I want to find a community that fully supports her changing needs but is affordable and close to her family. What should we know about senior care as we make plans?
-Linda in Holland
I think that is wonderful that your mother is managing an active independent life but is also looking for a long-term solution. Many seniors prefer not to think of this eventuality and do not leave themselves the time necessary to find the best option available to suit their needs. With a surge of seniors that will require long-term senior care, it becomes important to develop a relationship with a community before actually transitioning. Challenges in senior care will make it more difficult to find affordable current care solutions but the demand can also spur positive change in care delivery and additional resources in the future.
The Challenges in Senior Care
The demographics are daunting. By 2040, 20% of the population will be over the age of 65 years, and 3.5% (or 14 million people) will be over 85. There are a number of challenges in caring for this population such as, cost containment, the volatility of funding sources, recruiting and retaining qualified caregivers and other staff, and finding new efficiencies in care delivery. There are many resources that support seniors aging in place in their homes, including private and government-funded home care services. However, there comes a time when care communities become the best option to provide the medical and social support necessary to maintain a quality of life for our aging population.
Helpful Resources for Senior Care
I think that you will find the site longtermcare.gov useful as you begin determining the coverage mom currently has and what she may require in the future. From understanding the basics of long-term care and coverage, the resources within your area that can help with senior care, and making it an affordable option for the family, the Administration on Aging provides useful information to plan for your mother’s future. Your mother may qualify for some unique resources based on her location. In addition, reach out to surrounding and award-winning facilities, such as Resthaven, for more information that makes the transition easy.
Aging loved ones become more dependent on the support of caregivers and staff as their needs change. The assistance that they receive allows them to live a dignified life and engage in activities that promote their well-being. A Resthaven resident shared, “I am so thankful for the care I receive and the caregivers who provide it, and hope future generations will be able to experience such care as they age.” Call a coordinator at (616) 796-3800 to find out about the resources available for seniors and their progressive healthcare needs.
-Charles VanderBroek, President/CEO