If you were born in the 1950s or ’60s, you likely responded to the title of this article by adding “More powerful than a locomotive.” If Superman wasn’t your thing, maybe you were more in the “what was Cindy Brady’s doll’s name” category. Either way, we know you. You, my dear friend, are a Baby Boomer!
It is very interesting how a few simple words can evoke a big response in us. I simply mention a few television words and there you are, right back in your childhood. How about a few words that many Boomers are hearing and saying quite a bit these days? Words such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, independent living or skilled nursing facility? These are words that are becoming more and more a part of our everyday language as we are providing care or searching for care of our aging parents, family and friends.
The most frequent call to our senior in-home care agency here in Phoenix, Right at Home®, is from a family member, very often from the oldest daughter. It generally begins something like, “My mom is beginning to forget things, and I am very concerned about her.” Or maybe, “My father lives in Scottsdale, and I am in Detroit. I need someone to be me when I can’t be there.”
The truth is that many of us are very concerned. We are concerned about dad and hope he is taking his medication as prescribed. We were shocked the last time we visited Aunt Sally. Her home looked as though the floors hadn’t been really cleaned in quite a while. We also are worried that mom will either not go to her Doctor appointments or will not understand the results of her tests. We wonder about Uncle Roberto’s eating habits and his mobility with the walker.
Add to that, we are feeling guilty. After all, isn’t it our responsibility to care for our folks as they did for us when we needed them? Toss fear, insecurity, worry and mistrust into the waring and you have blended yourself into an emotional margarita!
So what should you do? In days gone by, there were only a few choices. One was to either move in with or have your parent(s) move in with you. This may be a good way to go if you are nearby, have the time or were lucky enough to avoid the Internet bubble’s pop and are now retired and ready to take on the new job of primary caregiver. Other choices in the past were to “place” your loved one in a “facility.” Nowadays, Senior Communities are much better than you remember them, but they still require lots of money, loss of independence and moving.
How about in-home care?
Many seniors are choosing aging in place; stay in their own home, in their own neighborhood and near their own friends and shopping that they’ve come to know and love. At our agency, Right at Home, we provide care to many clients in the Phoenix area who choose to have a qualified, bonded, insured, trained Caregiver provide them care for as little at a few hours a day, all the way to full-time 24-hour live-in care.
It’s a booming business (pun intended). It’s not just our parents though. It’s us! The same boomers seeking care for their parents also are in need of a little help now and then. Someone in America is turning 60 years old every 8 minutes, and they desperately desire to maintain their independence. We are not our grandmother’s grandchildren. We’re still eating out, playing music, camping out, motorcycling, dancing, vacationing, playing tennis, working out at the gym; you know, living! Having a few restrictions has not caused us to want to pack it in and sit around staring at pale green walls. We need a caregiver for the people we love. We also want someone else to handle the insurance, worker’s compensation, payroll taxes, licensing, certifications, education and training and backup scheduling.
In future articles, we’ll discuss just how to choose an in-home care agency, the difference between agencies and registries, how much to pay, the many methods of payment and lots more.
By the way, for all of you TV trivia buffs, Cindy Brady’s doll was named Kitty Carryall 🙂
About the Author : Glen Davis, Right at Home® Phoenix