AARP provides tips, support for caregivers

AARP's Hawaii office

Everyone knows they can’t stay young forever, but not everyone realizes that getting older sometimes means you’ll need help taking care of yourself down the road.

There is a startling graph prepared by AARP which shows those who may require care and those able to provide it.

elderhood caregiving graph EDIT

The red line represents those who may need care. The blue dash line shows those who may provide it.

This will take place before the year 2020.

“First of all, we have to make sure that families and individuals are aware of the situation so they can begin to make preparations in whatever way makes sense for them,” said Bruce Bottorff, AARP.

Bottorff says it is vital that the public and private sector work together to ensure our seniors get the care they need.

“Caregiver support comes from the public sector in the form of programs, for example like Kupuna Care, that can help people stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible. And help from the private sector might come in the form as such things as flexible schedules and phased retirement programs,” he said.

The legislature failed to pass a bill that would have required hospitals to provide family caregivers with instruction on taking care of seniors being released from the hospital to live at home.

But, Bottorf said, “there was a resolution that called for the development of a working group that will examine the role of family caregivers in hospital discharge planning.”

There may be families who can divide responsibility for senior care between themselves and a paid professional.

“The alarming thing on that front is that Hawaii actually has, right now at least, a shortage of professional, paid care who are trained and able to come people’s homes and perform the kind of care that will enable people to stay in their homes,” Bottorf said.

AARP holds workshops on caregiving and experts are available to answer your questions. Bottorff emphasizes that every family’s situation is different and planning ahead is imperative.

Click here for more information.

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