The number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent. The current growth of this population, driven largely by the baby boom generation, is unprecedented in U.S. history. What does this mean for the increasing numbers of seniors who require caregiving? For one, it means that the gender stereotypes once dominating caregiving responsibilities have begun to shift. More men are needed to embrace the role of caregiver for aging loved ones than ever before, and the latest research shows that male caregiving numbers are rising. 40 percent of family caregivers, amounting to roughly 16 million people in the United States, are men. Out of these 16 million male caregivers, about half are doing so by choice, 63% identify as primary caregivers, 49% are assisting an aging parent or in-law, and 13% are supporting a spouse.
Also referred to as a continuing care retirement community or life plan community, a continuum community for seniors has been described as “a long-term care option for older people who want to stay in the same place through different phases of the aging process… They offer different types of housing and care levels based on an older adult’s needs and how they change.” Continuum communities for seniors provide opportunities for residents to embrace a healthier, more vibrant and less worrisome quality of life. This might look like a resident starting out living independently in an apartment, then transitioning to assisted living when additional help with daily activities is needed, to skilled nursing when more medical care is a requirement or to specialized memory care when Alzheimer’s or dementia symptoms emerge. All of these changes in care occur while the resident remains within the same community.
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When people hear the term “senior living,” many quickly lump it into the same category as “nursing home.” In fact, these phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, further promoting the misconception that the two very distinct options are basically the same. The truth, however, is that the array of living choices available for seniors today is both wide and varied, and there are some fundamental differences between senior living communities and nursing homes.
No matter your gender, caring for an aging spouse, parent, family member or friend is no small or easy task. It presents a variety of demands that can impact a caregiver’s physical, mental, and emotional health. All of these can make it easy to get caught up in self-defeating habits. For the rising population of male caregivers, in particular, there are some unique challenges that can quickly erode overall well-being. Therefore, it’s crucial for men who find themselves taking on such a role to understand and manage the responsibility in a healthy way.
As the winter months can have a dramatic effect on a senior’s well-being, it’s important to ensure that elderly loved ones are staying engaged and active in their everyday lives. And even though this particular time of year has a way of limiting a senior’s activities, there’s no threshold on creativity. So if the weather or other circumstances are putting a pin in your loved one’s usual outlets for engagement, consider turning their attention to the arts.
It’s true: The role of family caregiver has traditionally been a female one, and the majority of today’s caregivers are, in fact, women. However, data has shown a significant upward trend in the number of men that exist among today’s family caregiving population. Although husbands, brothers, sons, and other male loved ones may not typically be recognized for their emerging presence within this dynamic, they are increasingly challenged to perform ongoing caregiving tasks—whether by choice or out of sheer necessity. In this article, we’re highlighting some of the current data on caregiving as it pertains to gender, and spotlighting the issues male caregivers may face as they take on this role in their loved one’s life.
As a society, we have adopted the belief that moving an older person into an independent or assisted living community (or especially a nursing home), is just about the worst thing a loved one could ever do. This type of decision has been known to bring on overwhelming feelings of guilt and uncertainty about what’s really best for the person we love. If you’ve ever felt this way, know that you are NOT a bad child, caregiver, or person. You’re actually just like thousands of other individuals in the same situation, who are exhausted, frustrated, and worried about how to best care for the senior in their life.
In lockstep with the winter season’s dropping temperatures comes the potential for snowy or icy conditions, plus a litany of often overlooked negative impacts on seniors’ health and well-being. And with every winter charm, there’s an equally challenging reality for older adults as they navigate this chilly time of year. Here are several of the most common effects on seniors during the winter months—and how a senior living community does wonders to offset these challenges.
Bells are ringing, children are singing and Santa’s on his way! It’s that time of year when the air is alive with joy and excitement for the Christmas holiday and other seasonal celebrations. For some seniors, this holiday may look a bit different from years past. There may be emerging health issues, a change in environment, a loss of a loved one, or any other challenge that makes it difficult to feel as merry as one might like. For others, there may be gleeful anticipation for embracing all the season has to offer. Whatever you or the senior in your life is feeling this month, we want to help infuse some cheer—with the following senior-friendly activities that are sure to engage the mind and soul.
The senior stage of life can be an absolutely beautiful one, and it can also come with its fair share of worries. So many older adults cherish their family home and desire to age in place there, but changes in physical, mental, emotional, and logistical realities may eventually make this option a challenging and worrisome one — for both the seniors living there and their caregivers or loved ones. At some point, it may no longer be the best choice for a senior’s ability to age well and thrive in their golden years and beyond.
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Honest Insights for Seniors and Caregivers As seniors navigate the nuances of older adulthood, there may come a time when certain challenges of physical, mental and emotional health become increasingly difficult to manage. And while the prospect of making the transition to an assisted living community can feel scary or overwhelming—for both seniors and their caregivers—the truth is that this option may actually support a greater quality of life for you or your aging loved one.