They might not need help right now (or ever – highly unlikely), but the chances they will need some type of help in the future are pretty high. According to LongTermCare.gov, “Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years.”
As family and friends, the responsibility will fall primarily on us to care for our loved ones (LOs). About 60% of older adults who need long term care rely exclusively on family and friends to provide assistance [AARP]. As my friends Gael and Deb said, “Don’t live under a rock. Caregiving is in your future!”
We are the long term care system of America, friends.
We literally have absolutely no control over what can happen tomorrow. Even with the best laid plans, things can go awry.
Despite this, we can take steps now to have at least an idea of how to ease the transition and how to respond to crises as they come up while caring for aging parents or LOs who need support (or don’t… phew that was a close one!). By having conversations and reflecting inward, we can avoid knee jerk reactions and traumatic events.
The good news is nobody expects you to be the expert. You don’t have to know everything about getting older. There are tons of resources out there to get the information you need and connect with others who’ve walked in your shoes to help you navigate your caregiving journey.
These are things I wish I would have asked, discussed, or learned about before my own personal journey began.
In each post, I will share a resource to help you in your investigation.
This series was heavily influenced by The Caregiving Years by Denise Brown, at Caregiving.com.