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Challenges Baby Boomers Face When Choosing Senior Care

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As baby boomers get older, many of us are faced with the reality of watching our parents get even older still.  For the first time in history, the average life expectancy in the U.S. has risen to 78.1 and a daily check of the obituaries reveals a good many people who make it to their late 80s and early 90s and older.

Watching our parents age is never easy.  Switching roles and becoming their caregiver or “parent” is even harder.  Better health care and improved medications have helped to increase the average life span — and some of these older folks are still quite healthy and active.  Unfortunately, the older they live the greater the chance that physical limitations or dementia will force them to make a lifestyle change they don’t want.

It’s hard for baby boomers to face the fact that their parents can’t do what they used to do.  It’s even more of a challenge when the parents maintain that they can.  Adult children need to have a frank talk with their parents – and each other – to determine what, if anything, needs to be done.  Can they stay at home with daily help?  Do they need meals brought in or someone to stay overnight?  There are many home care agencies these days that will visit daily and help with everything from bathing and dressing to physical therapy to companionship.

Finding the right solution can be complicated when parents live in one city and the children are hours away.  If you do live nearby, it’s a good idea to get a list of possible living arrangements and make phone calls, look at websites, and speak to people who currently live there. Or receive their care.  Retirement communities and assisted living facilities generally have someone on staff that would assess the prospective residents to see if that facility is a good fit.  An elderly senior in need of memory care will require a far different living situation than an active 75-year-old who broke a hip and can no longer handle the cleaning and lawn care.

If you do live nearby, you may find that a lot of your time is spent taking parents to doctor appointments, grocery shopping or paying bills.  This can be stressful on baby boomers that are used to their parents being capable and independent.  If none of the children live nearby, there is often the guilt of not being there to help and the stress of finding someone reliable who can help out.

Family conflict is often another challenge for today’s sandwich generation.  Sometimes siblings don’t agree about their parents’ care or how to spend their money.  Sometimes the conflict is with the parents themselves when adult children (or the parents’ friends, neighbors or other relatives) notice that there are signs of dementia but the parent is in denial.  It’s hard to make a decision based on what you know is best for them, when they are frightened, confused or angry about your choice.

Moving parents closer to you is an option that resolves some concerns but can be the cause of other stressors.  Making living arrangements, finding a doctor and health insurance are all part of these life changes.

Local senior centers, government agencies, eldercare specialists, geriatric physicians, and of course, LivingSenior articles are all good sources of information for baby boomers and their parents who are facing these issues.

5 Responses to “Challenges Baby Boomers Face When Choosing Senior Care”

  1. I think that everyone faces a problem on taking care of their elders. It seemed that there are a lot of challenges baby boomers face when choosing the right senior care.I think that being able to provide holistic care would make them valuable and important in our life.I know that even if were apart from our elders, there are some institutions that can provide the necessary care that they need. It would be such a great opportunity for them to experience love, respect and understanding.

    • Mary Ogden
  2. On my own opinion, people really need to have the best care they can have especially when its all about senior care. I think that its not easy to take care of our parents and became their own caregiver. It seems that being able to find an institution to provide the necessary care they need would be absolutely great. I know that everyone is concern on providing the best care for their parents and I know that this senior care institution can also provide those necessary care.

    • Cheryl Rickel
  3. On my own opinion, seeing your parents getting older and older would mean a more complex responsibility as a son or daughter. I think that giving them the right attention, respect, love, and care means that you should spend ample amount of time for them. I know that many of us are busy at work but it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the right senior care they needed. I think that being able to provide the appropriate institution to support and provide them care on our behalf is absolutely necessary. I think that its a great challenge to us to find the best institution for them that provides the appropriate senior care just like the care that we wanted to give them.

    • Robert M. Lacy
  4. I am really interested to know about what are the challenges baby boomers face when choosing senior care. I always know that when we face challenges, there are always an answer waiting for us. I think that one of the biggest challenges on choosing senior care is about who is going to provide the necessary senior care and are they capable of providing the necessary care for them. I think that many people always doubt about the integrity of the institution and the service provider. It only mean that you should be more precise in choosing the best service provider for you.

    • Amos M. Orton
  5. Based on my own experience, there are a lot of challenges baby boomers face when choosing for a senior care. It seems that finding the best possible answers to every problem that came is not easy to find. I know that being able to spend quality time with your elderly parents are really significant as one way of providing their senior care. I think that being near them would somehow ease the problems and stress that they are experiencing.

    • Charles D. Lenz