Researchers from Rutgers University predict that in the next four decades the United States will experience a shift in its population demographics. Based on the results of a multi-disciplined study which included researchers with backgrounds in mathematical, behavioral and social sciences, engineering and physics, the report predicts that the ratio of people over age 65 to people between ages 20 – 64 will increase by 80%. People will also live longer — to a life expectancy of 84.5 years. Most people today live to age 78.
As the population ages, more families will seek ways to keep their elderly loved ones in their own community and out of senior facilities that people often associate with inefficiency and high incidences of injuries to its residents. Statistics show that about 1 in 20 of the estimated 1.5 million residents at nursing homes suffer abuse or neglect as a result of understaffed or poorly trained care providers.
On the other hand, seniors residing in their own homes fare better than they do in institutions. Experts say that there are a number of benefits to home care over the care provided in an institution:
- One-on-one care — seniors receive personal attention from a home health aide or skilled registered nurse as opposed to being one of a number of patients at an institution
- Living in familiar surroundings — moving can be very difficult for elderly people, especially those who have Alzheimer’s or other maladies.
Home health care services can be costly and Medicare does not cover nonmedical services. However, long-term care insurance may reimburse for some services. With careful planning, you can provide the care that best fits the needs of your aging loved ones.
If you have questions about long-term planning or suspect that a loved one is a victim of elder abuse, contact the dedicated attorneys at Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP.