As the parents of baby boomers move into their twilight years, an elephant enters the room: when should we start to talk about long-term care?
With 12 million Americans already in need of attention and a further 15 million just around the corner, that question of how to best look after ourselves and loved ones is becoming more important by the day.
We all know that the baby boomer generation is getting older. As the baby boomers enter into their sixties and seventies, our population will experience a significant age shift. In fact, the number of residents over age 65 will double over the next 20 years, and community members over the age of 80 will be increasing at an even faster rate. But what happens when Grandma and Grandpa can no longer drive, or even live on their own?
A nursing home watchdog group says Kansas nursing home residents would benefit from increased requirements for direct care from nurses and nurse-aides in nursing homes. Current regulations require adequate staffing to provide each resident a minimum of two hours of direct care daily.
Driving out of the western Iowa town of Panora, the winding roads offer broad vistas of rolling hills. Many of the mailboxes along Redwood Road show the name Arganbright. Jim Arganbright grew up in this area, one of 10 children. He and his wife, Beverly, have eight kids.
Though Jim Arganbright farmed here his whole life, three years ago at the age of 80 he started renting his cropland to his son Tom, the only one of his children who farms full-time. Now, all Jim Arganbright has to worry about is the livestock — and he doesn’t have too much of that.
Working beyond retirement is a fairly common refrain these days. In 2012, 5 percent of the U.S. workforce was beyond retirement age. But farmers seem to work longer than most. In the last Agriculture Census 25 percent of all farm operators were over 65 years old.
Why do farmers keep working? For one thing, modern machinery makes it easier to work longer.
“It’s more you use your mind rather than your back, so you can go longer,” said Mike Duffy, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University.
The Medicare Summary Notice senior citizens receive every month has been redesigned. The changes are meant to make it easier to spot fraudulent claims.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the federal government has devoted new resources to rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program. The notice beneficiaries receive each month to explain their claims is being upgraded to make it easier to spot claims for services they never received.
For most of a child's life, from infancy and into adulthood, parents take care of, support and help their children make decisions. It's an odd experience though when the parents gets elderly and the child has to step in as caregiver. On this Central Standard, we look at how the family dynamic changes when parents can't take care of themselves and how to approach the situation from an emotional and logistical point of view.