Planning for Care
It’s never too early to create a care plan. Whether you are looking to find accommodations for an aging loved one or you want to know your own options, it’s important to plan ahead. At ameriCARE, we’ve put together some important statistics regarding aging, the need for care, and what you can expect as you plan.
Who Needs Care?
The number of people aging into the assisted care range is growing exponentially. It’s likely that you are either part of this group, or will be responsible for someone who belongs to this group in the near future:
Born after World War II, from 1946 to 1964, the oldest boomers will turn 75 next year. 
Life expectancy at age 65 went from 11.9 years (1900-1902) to 19.1 years in 2010 and continues to grow. 
Aging Doesn’t Automatically Mean You Need Care, But…
While we’re seeing unprecedented numbers of people moving into retirement, it does not necessarily mean they all need supportive care. However, as people age, their likelihood of living alone grows:
The percentage of people living alone increases with age (ie, among women ≥ 75 years, about 44% live alone). Men are more likely to die before their wives, and widowed or divorced men are more likely to remarry than are widowed or divorced women. 
12 million Americans over age 65 live alone, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. The percentage of older adults who live alone quintupled from 6 percent in 1900 to a peak of 29 percent in 1990, and has slowly declined since then, to 26 percent in 2014. 
Living Alone Can Be Dangerous
As people age, the likelihood of sustaining age-related injury, illness, or complications grow. Many [older adults] report feelings of loneliness (in 60% of those > 75) and social isolation. In those with health problems or sensory deficits, new or worsening symptoms may be unnoticed. Many have difficulty complying with prescribed treatment regimens. Because they have physical limitations and because eating is a social activity, some older people who live alone do not prepare full, balanced meals, making undernutrition a concern. 
Older people living on their own have to face complex and often, unsafe situations if they do not have some type of support:
Physical limitations increase with age. Among men age 65–74, 13 percent reported being unable to perform at least one ADL, compared with 40 percent of men age 85+. 19 percent of women age 65–74 were unable to perform at least one activity, compared with 53 percent of those age 85+.
Chronic illness has replaced acute illness as the major health problem of older adults—and increasingly so as medicine evolves.
In 1984, more than 80 percent of older adults had one or more chronic health conditions. By 2005, that percentage had increased to 91 percent.
Despite These Risks, Older Americans Want to Age in Place
Even though living alone comes with a number of risk factors, most older Americans say they want to stay in their homes and stay independent for as long as possible:
In-Home Care Offers an Effective Solution
Because aging adults want to stay in their homes while having higher risk factors for illness, injury, or other age-related complications, having a flexible care solution that meets them where they are is more important than ever.
In-home caregiving offers aging adults the opportunity to stay in their homes while receiving additional support tailored to meet their needs. This could be weekly or daily visits for short or long periods of time. In-home caregivers are trained to help with daily and long-term tasks like nutrition management, home maintenance, medication management, medical communication, transportation, and more.
If you or an aging loved one would prefer to stay home to enjoy their golden years, reach out to your local ameriCARE to connect with certified, compassionate caregivers dedicated to quality, dignified care!