Thanks to advancements in health care, Americans live longer than they did in past decades. According to Lorman Education Services, approximately 80% of U.S. residents now live beyond the age of 65. Like many of you, we are glad that people are able to live longer and enjoy their golden years. However, this increased longevity can come with financial hardships elders must overcome.
When people make the difficult decision to move a loved one to a nursing home, they are often concerned -- and rightfully so -- about that loved one getting the medications, food, hydration and exercise they need. They want to feel secure that their parent or another family member won't suffer a fall or other injury because someone wasn't there to help them move. They may not consider the possibility that their loved one could be harmed by another resident.
When elderly parents become ill, disabled or develop dementia and are no longer able to care for themselves, their adult children often take on the responsibility of caring for them — particularly if the other parent is deceased. However, when there's more than one child, that doesn't necessarily mean that the responsibilities are divided equally.
If you're going to be spending some time with a loved one in a nursing home this holiday season, you may have an opportunity to better observe their care and conditions than you usually do. No one wants to believe that an elderly family member may be suffering from neglect or abuse. However, it happens all too often.
Older American citizens are vulnerable to many kinds of abuse and exploitation. Financial abuse, in particular, is a risk for all elders including those in the Jackson region of Missouri. Elders often fall victim to scams targeting older people, and they could even suffer financial abuse at the hands of a care provider or a family member.
No one wants to consider the possibility that an elderly parent or other family member may need to have a legal guardian because they're no longer able to handle their finances or take care of themselves. However, as people live longer, elderly guardianships and conservatorships are becoming increasingly common.
The stress that caregivers experience has been well-documented. Often, people are placed in a position where they're caring for elderly parents while also raising their own children. Sometimes, an elderly person has to take care of an ill or disabled spouse. It can be overwhelming. Caregivers often feel like they have no lives of their own.