Seniors & Falling: Part 1 The Unsung Heroes of Health Care

Home care in Long Island is very important and the caregivers, whether personal or professional are on the front lines of a crisis in plain sight. according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 National Population Projections. By 2030, every Baby Boomer will be age 65 or older, which means that 1 out of every 5 U.S. citizens will be of retirement age.

“The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau, said in a press release. “By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million (previously 76.4 million) under the age of 18.” But the impending shift doesn’t stop there. According to Census Bureau projections:

  • U.S. population will grow by 79 million people, from about 326 million in 2018 to 404 million by 2060, and will cross the 400-million threshold in 2058.
  • As the population ages, the old-age dependency ratio (the ratio of older adults to working-age adults) will also shift. By 2020, there will be 3.5 working-age adults for every retirement-age person but by 2060, that ratio will drop to just 2.5.
  • The median age of the U.S. population is expected to grow from age 38 today to age 43 by 2060.

From helping to prevent falls to preparing meals to personal hygiene to good old companionship, caregivers are sadly overlooked. Caregiving is a wonderful foundation for a variety of careers, and is often a stepping stone into nursing, therapy and other health care professions. Being a caregiver comes with many benefits, but it can also be trying at times and especially at this current time. It can be an all in commitment for some and even the most caring family members and professional caregivers can be stretched thin. 

A term that more people need to be aware of is the Sandwich Generation.Merriam-Webster officially added the term to its dictionary in July, 2006. The Sandwich Generation is a generation of people (usually in their 40s to 70s) who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children. According to the Pew Research Center, just over one of every eight Americans aged 40 to 70 is both raising a child and caring for a parent, in addition to between seven and ten million adults caring for their aging parents from a long distance. The US Census Bureau statistics indicate that the number of older Americans aged 65 or older will double by the year 2030, to over 70 million. In Australia, the term ‘sandwich carer’ relevant to the 2.6 million unpaid caregivers. A Carers UK report in 2012 said that approximately 2.4 million people are combining childcare with caring for older or disabled relatives. 

It’s the everyday mundane tasks like doing laundry, folding it and putting it away, preparing meals, remembering to take medication, being able to safely get in and out of the bathroom/shower, being able to take a walk outside for some fresh air which can work wonders (I will be doing a blog on that topic soon) that people take for granted, but are key to their independence. At SeniorCare Companions we know that quality care begins with quality Caregivers, and we know that our caregivers are the best in the business, because we take the time to individually train each and every one of them before they work for our company. For us, caregiving is a family affair, not only do our caregivers work one on with clients, they also support the whole family. They provide respite care when family caregivers need some time off to reenergize allowing families to rest assured knowing their loved ones are safe and being taken care.

Caregivers are the first line of defense in preventing seniors from falling so they have a very important job. Caregivers can make a monumental difference in a person’s day-to-day existence, overall happiness and self-worth, it’s not just about the quantity of life, but more important the quality of life. They are at the heart of senior care long island.  I covered this in part 1 of this blog series, but it’s important to note that one of the most serious fall injuries is a broken hip. It’s hard to recover from a hip fracture and afterward many people are not able to live on their own. As demonstrated above, the U.S. population is getting older which means the number of hip fractures is likely to go up as well. Currently:

  • Each year over 300,000 older people—those 65 and older—are hospitalized for hip fractures.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
  • Women experience three-quarters of all hip fractures.
  • Women fall more often than men.
  • Women more often have osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.
  • The chances of breaking your hip go up as you get older.

Often, the work of caregivers is overlooked in the health care continuum and doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. When what you’re good at is keeping things running smoothly, and things do run smoothly, your contribution at times can go unnoticed, but know that you caregiver, whether personal or professional who are facing this battle among other battles with concern, compassion and resilience are indeed making a huge difference so continue to push forward!

As the demand to support a growing aging population with simple things like their activities of daily living skyrockets with limited resources, it’s as important as ever to encourage more people to take up the battle so we can get more caregivers across the country to serve people with compassion and reliability and to help shoulder the responsibility with family caregivers. Here at SeniorCare Companions we are always looking for compassionate caregivers to join our team in the fight and be there to serve Our aging population. If you or someone you know is interested in either working with us or in services feel free to reach out. 

Let’s face it, many seniors are at risk for falling especially if they’ve fallen already. I know I heard it growing up as did many others and that is, “It’s better to be safe than sorry” so let’s make sure we communicate that as best as we can to our loved ones. Remember, perception is key so if your loved one is resistant to having someone come in and help out even though you know they need the help than try reframing it, instead of saying caregiver, say personal assistant. Who doesn’t want or need a personal assistant? Caregivers act as personal assistants in a lot of ways and I can tell you from personal experience that a simple perception change has worked wonders. 

After some requests, I’ve decided to add one more part to this blog series focusing on specific tips to help prevent seniors from falling and how to safely pick yourself or a loved one up after a fall so stay tuned!

“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.”

-Psalms 71:9-

Join the SeniorCare Companions Team or Start Services

Contact:

Kerry Brathwaite

SeniorCare Companions-Director of Human Resources

150 Islip Avenue, Suite 2, Islip, NY 11751

Office: (631) 581-9000Fax: (631) 446-1584

http://www.SeniorCareCompanions.com 

(631) 581-9000

150 Islip Avenue, Suite 2, Islip, NY 11751

 Phone (631) 581-9000 Fax (631) 446-1584

www.seniorcarecompanions.com

References: 

Have any Questions? Just give us a call, we would love to help in any way.

“Quality Care You Can Trust – Since 2004”

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