Baby Boomers Redefining Home Care

By: Jody Smith

Baby boomers have sort of made a point of doing things their own way all their lives, with a special relish for flouting tradition. As the baby boomer generation moves into its late forties, and on up to to its late sixties, why would their approach to needing assistance be any different?

Younger and older boomers are at opposite ends of the spectrum on this. Younger boomers may be faced with making decisions with and for their parents needing care. But older boomers may be seeing some of their own human frailty in a new way these days, needing a little help for themselves.

At one time, needing help at home often meant you couldn't stay at home any longer. Then it was time for the heartbreak and burden of downsizing and having to sell, give away or throw out personal belongings in preparation for being parceled off to the dreaded nursing home.

Sometimes if you were lucky, getting help meant you could stay at home if family members moved in with you. This was good or bad depending on your family relationships, be they harmonious or otherwise.

Moving in with family could be the best or worst of all worlds, again depending on how well everyone gets along. You can lose your independence and your home. But the only other option used to be going to a nursing home.

These options, while better than being set adrift in a kayak at the Arctic Circle, left much to be desired, as far as many seniors (and many of their family members) were concerned.

But things are not so cut and dried anymore. And seniors are increasingly taking advantage of the greater variety of services available.

Young boomers seeking solutions for their parents, and older boomers seeking answers for themselves, are looking more often at home care provided by professional caregivers.

Seniors in good health may welcome the visits by professional caregivers who drop in for a few hours and do some housework, or help with personal care like washing hair or bathing, and then are on their way. Seniors who would otherwise have to pack up and move lock, stock and barrel, may in fact need nothing more than someone who can put dinner together in order to be able to live in their own homes, with their own memories and mementos around them.

Technology has been smiling on seniors. Things like automatic activity sensors and alarm-equipped smart pillboxes help fill in the gaps of independence and self-sufficiency.

A senior with a cell phone, a medical pendant, or call button is a senior who has found themselves fortified with outside help. They can stay home enjoying their privacy with the comfort and reassurance of knowing help is just a call away.

Sources:

In-Home Care: A Solution for Baby Boomers Now and in the Future

http://www.comfortkeepers.com/information-center/news-and-highlights/baby-boomers

In Home Care Ideas for Baby Boomers Who Nurse Their Elderly Parents

http://www.just5.com/story.php?story=261020110136501562669797&page=blog

NAPGCM in the News

http://www.caremanager.org/newsroom/napgcm-in-the-news/

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