It’s been a little while since you spent that weekend with your mom at her house a state away and it’s still bothering you. While you have an image of Mom whisking around the kitchen and organizing sledding adventures or shopping forays, that isn’t what you saw during this recent visit.
We have all heard the reports like this one from the U.S. Census Bureau:
The U.S. Census Bureau reported…that the dependency ratio, or the number of people 65 and older to every 100 people of traditional working ages, is projected to climb rapidly from 22 in 2010 to 35 in 2030. This time period coincides with the time when baby boomers are moving into the 65 and older age category. After 2030, however, the ratio of the aging population to the working-age population (ages 20 to 64) will rise more slowly, to 37 in 2050.
There is a tipping point coming when more of the population will be seniors – or elderly. Not only that, but another report from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that not just the population of seniors, but the number of seniors over the age of 90 has tripled over the past three decades, reaching 1.9 million in 2010. It is projected to more than quadruple over the next 40 years.
That means that people 90 and older comprise 4% of the older population (age 65 and older), as compared with only 2.8% in 1980. By 2050, this share is likely to reach 10%.
That means there has to be a lot of talk about how children and grandchildren are going to help parents and grandparents adjust to life as an older person. There has to be a great deal more communication – productive and open communication – between generations. Transitioning from being the son or daughter to being a caregiver is not easy on the children – or the parents. The roles change and the situation is emotionally charged.
As a son or daughter, consider these questions when you see it is time to begin the conversation about this issue in your family:
Every family is unique, but every family faces at least some communication breakdowns. Being open, respectful, honest and generous can result in decisions and compromises that everyone accept.
Don’t wait until the need is so great that immediate action must be taken. Start the conversation when everyone is well and clear-minded. Discuss the what-ifs that come to mind and keep the dialog open and on-going. Identify the wants and needs on both sides of the age divide and come to some understandings.
Dialog and communication is the basis for the Keeping in Touch Solutions daily call program. A conversation every day with a Care Caller keeps aging seniors alert and engaged while it allows the younger generation moving into the caregiving role to stay informed and less stressed.
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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