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Elder Care – From Whence it Comes!

A comedienne at The Improv whined to his audience the other night about the distinct possibility that neither Social Security nor Medicare benefits would be available to him when he grows old. Why? His slightly off-colored explanation was that, "Old people don't die when they are supposed to anymore." Of course, at the comedy club, this statement got a laugh from the listeners, but the uncomfortable reality of his skit is not quite as amusing. We all know that many of us are living longer. Some of us may live longer well; others may not be as fortunate.

The fastest growing group of our population is the "over 65 age group" and experts predict that by the year 2020, almost 20% of America's population will fall into this category. Accompanying this age group growth-spurt, a multitude of issues has fueled a shift in the needs and expectations of Americans for their healthcare. This has contributed to the development of an entire specialty industry known as ElderCare. Elder Care is defined by Wikipedia as "the fulfillment of the special needs and requirements that are unique to senior citizens. This broad term encompasses such services as assisted living, adult day care, long term care, nursing homes, hospice care, and In-Home care;" in addition to "wellness" and estate planning.

If financial instability and illness could be the exception rather than the norm to growing old, we could all better enjoy our golden years. Sadly and all too often, our parents, if they live long enough, can become our children again. Many parents are dependant on their own children to transport them to appointments; cook, clean, care for them and to manage a second household…that of the aging parent.

Fortunately, the eldercare industry is abundant with professionals with years of experience in helping families with elder care matters, including: Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorneys, Geriatric Care Managers, Insurance Professionals, Reverse Mortgage Specialists, Seniors Real Estate Specialists, Home Care Agencies, and many other elder care experts with long and successful careers helping seniors and their families. There is an unparalleled amount of information both in print and on the Web available to Boomers and members of the Sandwich Generation new to the task of caring for their frail and aging parents; none more meaningful than first-person accounts from caregivers who have already navigated this period in their lives.

As the New Year approaches, Liken Home Care would like to extend our warmest regards to all caregivers and their families. Liken has been in the "eldercare" business for over 35 years. We remain in the business of assisting families to make the right choices for their medical and non-medical needs whether in home or facility.

If you would like more information about eldercare, contact Sue Janosko, CM, and Director of Private Duty Operations at Liken Home Care, at (412) 816-0113 or visit www.likenservices.com.

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