Many people in the United States choose to continue working past the average retirement age of 63. Whether these individuals volunteer, are in paid part or full-time positions, or embark on an entirely different career path, it’s clear that remaining independent and active is at the top of their to-do list.
Once they turn 65, however, nearly 70% of Americans begin to realize that they will eventually need some form of long-term care. A recent survey showed that 55% of the participants were afraid of being or becoming an emotional, physical, or financial burden for their families.
When it’s clear that long-term care is beneficial or necessary, residing in an assisted living community is an option. When living in these communities, residents have the benefit of receiving daily assistance with basic living activities. Almost 40% of the residents in assisted living situations receive individualized attention with 3 or more of these activities, such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, transportation, mobility assistance, and medical monitoring.
Long-term care situations are often the most proactive solution for those suffering with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Currently, over 5 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the United States. While the majority of these individuals are over 65, it is estimated that 200,000 younger Americans have early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for approximately 80% of all dementia-related diagnoses. As a result, there is an increasing need for facilities that are able to address the specific needs of these clients, such as providing memory care.
While many families may do their best to care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it can prove to be challenging. When dementia patients go wandering, or when left alone, forget to feed or groom themselves, it can be emotionally and physically draining for all involved.
In the United States alone, there are over 15 million people providing unpaid care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This care is usually provided by family members, extended family members, and family friends. Estimates for 2016 indicate that unpaid caregivers provided a total of 18.2 billion hours, which was valued at $230 million.
When memory care is needed, it’s important to note that specialized units are usually available. In most cases, these units are able to provide 24-hour supervised care on secure floors or in a separate wing. Some residents may still be able to live onsite in private or shared apartments, however, where they can still receive individualized memory care services.
If you are looking for a memory care facility for a family member, you may be interested to know that in some states, these facilities are more regulated than other types of assisted living facilities. Due to special care unit disclosure laws, this is the case for 23 out of 50 states. When you contact a local memory care facility, be sure to determine if these regulations apply.
Whether you are experiencing issues, or someone you love is, it’s important to have a discussion about long-term care options. While this may be a potentially difficult discussion, being informed ahead of time can assist with alleviating future stressors.