Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Chicago

The Boomer Dilemma: Grown Kids, Aging Parents
Care Management To The Rescue

The statistics are alarming.  According the Congressional Budget Office, the number of 85-year-olds in the U.S. will grow five times by 2050. Congressional Quarterly Researcher says that one in five Americans now over 50 will need long term care at some point in their lives, with over 70 percent of them turning 65 this year.

And, more than 50 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year. This is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The numbers of older Americans are multiplying rapidly. Baby Boomers not only are caring for their own children, but are taking on more and more responsibility for the health and well-being of their aging parents. This is beginning to have a huge effect on the focus of the healthcare system in our country.

How can Boomers juggle their own lives and those of their kids, and ensure that their aging parents — many of whom have complex, chronic medical conditions — receive the best care possible. This is especially difficult if they must do this long distance, which a large percentage of them do!

As we all get older, the likelihood of having multiple diseases at the same time greatly increases. Both treatment and long-term care become more complicated and require closer monitoring. And a recent study showed that 80 percent of people receiving care from others prefer to remain at home, where they are most comfortable and most likely to thrive.

That's why more and more people are turning to in-home care providers such as SeniorBridge. And they are right here in Chicago. What is different about SeniorBridge is the team approach to care, led by a Geriatric Care Manager, and with a specialty in working with older people who have complex, chronic health conditions. With this alternative for those who otherwise might be in a nursing home or dementia facility, the Care Manager does an on-site assessment and then puts a full array of the necessary in-home support and services in place. A team of highly trained and experienced nurses, social workers, exercise and nutrition specialists, and home health aides and companions are able to provide uninterrupted 24/7 care.

Geriatric Care Managers are nurses or social workers with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care. They work with older adults and their families to create a plan of care that meets their needs and help them understand what those needs are and what resources and options are available. They supervise the delivery of all the aspects of care for the client, including collaborating with doctors and specialists and educating family about the client's condition. The use of a Care Manager ensures that the client is getting just the right care at all times.

The care plan they develop is personalized according to the level of need of each client, and the staff focuses on building relationships, providing companionship and social interaction, and helping the client continue with activities and cultural interests outside the home in their own community when possible. Their goal is to treat the whole person, not just the illness. Members of the team can manage the household, advocate on behalf of the client, monitor carefully for any changes in condition, and bring in more resources when necessary.

The SeniorBridge team approach has been proven to create a safe, comfortable environment in the home; reduce unnecessary hospitalizations; maintain communication among all healthcare providers and increase medical compliance; improve quality of life; as well as provide the family with peace of mind.

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