By Becky Bongiovanni
Over the next three decades, the number of people over 65 will double, from 40 million to over 80 million. And those over 85 years old will be the largest segment of this growing senior cohort. Between a rapidly aging population, more people with chronic health issues than ever before, and the added nuances around navigating a pandemic, it is apparent that the nation is going to be in a complex and demanding period where heavy resources are needed to meet the health needs of our aging population.
Many of these health needs are above the ability of care most people can provide, forcing hundreds of families every year to look for a senior care facility to provide for the health and safety of their aging loved ones. In the U.S. alone, there are over 16,000 senior living campuses. Among these campuses are varying levels of costs, care and specialties. Consider this: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 85% of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 60% have at least two chronic conditions. These individuals need to seek out care to maintain their quality of life, and finding the right living community is essential for enjoying a comfortable, safe life in their golden years.
However, making the correct choice for the welfare of a family member can pose a significant challenge. When an individual needs to make a decision for a loved one, it is usually under immense stress or panic in having to make a quick decision. This leads people to make uneducated decisions , making mistakes that end up putting the well-being of those in need at more risk than before.
The Dangers of Uneducated Decisions
Finding care for your aging loved one is a daunting task. Unfortunately, many families don’t truly appreciate this until they have actually experienced it themselves. Having the proper resources can make all the difference. The lack of knowledge in the general public when they are searching for appropriate senior care is the foremost contributor to families placing loved one under inadequate care that does not meet the unique needs of that person. Just as every individual’s situation is different and unique, not all senior care communities are created equal.
Some care communities specialize in a specific type of care, such as caring for those with dementia, while other communities have little-to-no experience caring for someone with the same illness. What works for one person may not work for another, and many people do not understand this when looking for help caring for an aging loved one. This issue becomes more significant when operators and marketers for an assisted living facility will over-promote their community and abilities in order to keep their facility full.
Many people looking for care communities choose one because it looks impressive, or it was the first care facility they visited. Some listen to experts outside of the field of senior care or are pressured into signing up by the marketing personnel of the facility. These mistakes are repeated by individuals every year and inevitably can lead to bad situations for a loved one.
Additionally, the lack of skilled staff is a growing issue of which those looking for care should be made aware. According to data collected by Home Health Care News (HHCN), the most critical non-COVID-19 related challenge is staffing issues, with over 80% of correspondence stating that staffing is their biggest issue, 57% saying that recruitment is a challenge and 32% stating their biggest challenge is the retention of their workforce.
Between staffing issues and matching the right care to the right care option is almost like being a senior housing detective, but who has the time to be one while trying to manage their work and family. The simple answer is no one, but not having that knowledge and know-how can result in injury and overall dissatisfaction.
How do you be proactive if you don’t know that you need help? This is where CarePatrol can help.
Here to Offer the Best in Senior Care…
Founded in 1993, by a medical social worker, CarePatrol offers a time and stress saving service at no cost to all customers to make data-driven decisions on the best plan for help. CarePatrol is compensated by their nationwide network of providers. CarePatrol’s network of expert senior care advisors helps clients find the best care available. By vetting the communities available, matching physical, medical, financial and emotional needs with those providers, supporting the transition into a community, and offering regular check-ins, CarePatrol ensures the loved one’s needs are being met.
According to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) research, only 51% of all senior living communities had no reported COVID-19 deaths in 2020. In alignment with making data-based decisions, CarePatrol has become more selective than ever before when it comes to recommending and working with senior care communities. The extensive vetting process doesn’t allow for unnecessary risks or holes in coverage – allowing clients to have peace of mind knowing that their best interests are the number one priority.
Overall, choosing the best care provider for a loved one is an arduous process that takes dedicated time, effort, and research to find the one that will meet their unique care needs. It takes knowledge of a loved one’s unique care needs, the services a senior care facility provides, their history, their care capabilities, and more. It is one of the most difficult choices a person can make, not because it is hard to find a senior care facility, but because of the incredible difficulty of finding the correct one.
To learn more about CarePatrol and the services we offer, visit https://www.carepatrol.com.
Becky Bongiovanni is Brand President at CarePatrol Franchise Systems, LLC part of Best Life Brands, a family of companies focused on senior care solutions.