The Huffington Post recently published an article about a senior adult child (aged 69) who is trying to look after her 91-year-old mother.
In the United States, as in Canada, the average age of the population is as high as it has ever been. In many families, the children of very elderly people (who are also living longer than before) are forced to care for their parents.
The family in question consists of five generations, from great-grandchildren to great-grandparents.
Since the family is American, they struggle to get good health care under Medicare. The matriarch of the family, recovering from hip surgery after a fall, did not receive enough care, and “the system” forced her out of hospitals and care facilities at set times, which were inappropriate for her following her surgery. It’s a very difficult system where the patient is not wealthy.
In Canada, we have also arrived at the time where elderly parents are being cared for by their senior adult children. Recent calls for a national senior care strategy are well intentioned, and prudent.
As our population continues to age, we already see the need for a strategy. Many people miss work from time to time because they have to remain with their parents on any given day.
Caregiver fatigue, another drain on our economy, continues. I hope governments are planning accordingly.
This ad ran in the Richmond Review on August 29, 2014.