Do You Know What You Want As You Age?

The time has come. A loved one needs services. Do you know what they want? Do you know what they need?

aging in place

Many caregivers call a local support services office requesting something. They usually aren’t sure exactly what they need, but they know services should be put in place for their loved one. I  always stress having aging in place conversation often with aging loved ones. Those conversations must include what the general plan is for a loved one to age in place

Image result for senior safe home

The baby boomer generation will make up about 20% of the U.S. population by the year 2030. That’s quite a number of people to plan aging services for. Public health officials are thinking of ways to alleviate some of the systematic pressure by creating out of the box initiatives to help people remain in their homes as they age.

Here’s the thing, most seniors don’t qualify for government programs, but they can’t necessarily afford retirement homes or 24 hour care, either.

Here’s where the call to the top comes in. Yes, the Federal Government. But, we know they are not focusing on growing funds for aging services any time soon. Unfortunately, the costs for housing, healthcare and in-home care are not going to go anywhere. 

Home Ownership

Generally speaking, many seniors own their homes and as they age they are unable to keep up with basic repairs or modifications which allows the home to “age with them”. A solution based aging model must be developed between big business and government. It truly is the only answer to offsetting the long-term health costs of people living longer and healthier lives.

Small incentives may offer simple remedies for long-term housing issues. For instance, housing stipends for creating an age-friendly home might get senior home-owners off to a good start. An example might be offering tax breaks to seniors who put pat of their 401K or retirement savings to add alternative energy methods to power their homes. 

Overall, the need for service will grow, but knowing what is available to seniors can be a mind-numbing maze for even the savviest social worker. The main thing is working with doctors and asking questions involving in-home needs. Does mom or dad need to have a commode? Does a simple modification need to be put in place for them to comfortably bath independently?

These are just a few examples of in-home interventions that allow seniors to remain independent. More involved needs are not necessarily covered through health insurance. It’s important to have an understanding of the health insurance provider and which services are covered for in-home support. One instance, is an insurer may only cover 90 days of rehab or home health aide services after surgery or major health event. In many cases, a senior needs more three months to recover. 

Local non-profit and/or governmental agencies can offer gap services programs. But, it’s up to the individual to ask the right questions. What stage is mom or dad at? Do they need in-home care yet? Or maybe some light cleaning? A quick Google Search can help plan out appropriate service and insurance related questions. It will 100% help a caregiver or consumer navigate the social service system. 

 

-Andy 

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