Seniors, already vulnerable because of the ongoing recession, now face a new risk: lack of knowledge required to plan and safeguard their care decisions.
Planning for care is out of sight and out of mind. Half of seniors ages 65 to 75 have not thought about their own future care needs, according to a new study of seniors and adult children. What's more, the adult children - usually the daughters - who often are responsible for the care of their parents are equally in the dark. Nearly three-fourths of 35- to 64-year-olds, when unaided in the survey could name no more than two of eight options available to seniors who can no longer live independently.
To help family caregivers start the planning process, the non-profit National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) and Home Instead Senior Care will be sponsoring a free Web conference Thursday, November 19th entitled "The Best Care for Your Parents: Senior Care Solutions and Potential Pitfalls". The 45-minute Web conference, held in conjunction with National Family Caregiver's Month in November, will begin at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
"Seniors ages 65 to 75 may be on the verge of needing care, which makes this survey data particularly alarming," said Home Instead Senior Care Co-Founder and CEO Paul Hogan. "That's why we are sponsoring this Web conference. Lack of information and misinformation puts the largest generation of baby boomers at risk as they move toward retirement, which could spell disaster for the future of many older adults in our country, particularly those hard-hit by the recession."
The Web conference features Hogan and Suzanne Mintz, president and CEO of the NFCA. "We're pleased to join Home Instead Senior Care in this effort to make life easier for family caregivers and to help safeguard the care of their senior loved ones," she said.
Hogan added, "Our survey revealed that in almost all cases, even when respondents said they were aware of certain care options, they typically didn't know much about them."
This experience prompted Hogan and his wife, Lori, to co-author a new book, Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions (November 2009/McGraw Hill.). "We have a heart for seniors and their families, and hope that this book will provide the kind of resource that will improve the care of older adults," he said.
"Every day we encounter older adults who thought they had plenty of time to prepare for their senior care needs only to face a crisis when they became injured or ill," Hogan added. "And when a crisis occurs, it's often left to the adult children, usually the daughter, to handle the emergency. So it's particularly important that family caregivers have the information to make informed decisions."
To register for the "The Best Care for Your Parents: Senior Care Solutions and Potential Pitfalls" Web conference, visit the Caregiver Stress website.