We continue to look at five of the common myths seniors associate with assisted living communities. The fourth myth identified by Age Wave, the research and consulting company that studied the 65+ age group perceptions of Senior Living relates to the misconception that an individual doesn’t need any help and won’t in the future.
Myth #4: I’ll Never Need It
Seniors are not adept at anticipating the need for care. Much of this comes from a general denial of the aging process in our society. No one wants to be frail and elderly, and it is true that some individuals remain strong and independent to the end of their lives. But the majority of Elders will need some type of care in their lives.
Genworth’s 2010 Cost Of Care Survey Says That 66% Of The Population Will Need Long-Term Care After Age 65.
They also reported that only 35% “believe” they will need care. The gap is created by our unwillingness to face the facts about our own aging issues. We prepare for life’s difficulties with wills, trusts, and insurance, but preparing for personal care assistance seems unnecessary because we can’t imagine a time when we can’t do everything ourselves.
The Reality Is That 66% Of The Population Will Need Help From A Caregiver.
Although couples that live together provide a great deal of support for one another, the time may come when one spouse is left alone, or one of the two needs more help than their partner can provide.
Research says that the caregiver has a much higher incidence of an adverse health event than the one being cared for. Caregivers suffer from not only the physical burden of caregiving but emotional and mental stress also.
It becomes particularly precarious when a catastrophic health event happens to the caregiver. This creates an emergency for outside help or a sudden move to a Senior Living Community. Frequently, families call panicked to support their loved ones when no preplanning has been done.
No one wants to anticipate these scenarios, but preplanning can go a long way to alleviate the sudden emergency situation.
The Study Also Indicated That The Vast Majority Of Seniors Do Not Want To Be A Burden To Their Families.
Frequently the Seniors who say they won’t ever need care also say that will not be a burden to their families. It is a rare situation where families can provide all the care needed to keep a loved one in their own home. Younger generations may want to support their Elders, but the stress of caring for their own children, work, and their home plus meeting the needs of the elders is overwhelming.
The routine of doctor’s appointments, preparing food, cleaning, home maintenance, laundry, shopping is a tremendous burden.
This myth is particularly challenging to handle.
This myth is incredibly difficult to expose because it is based on the belief that an individual will decline. No one wants to believe that, so it takes a serious reality check. It means looking at the facts and preplanning for the what-ifs.