Alert1 on Senior Care in America
Posted on May 12, 2014
in Elder Care Planning
Updated 8/13/15 11:45am | Alert1 keep
seniors safe at home with our fall detection
medical alerts. Our range of senior medical
alert systems protect over a quarter of a million Americans at home. But
try as we might, Alert1 can’t solve all the problems older Americans face.
Seniors tackle diseases
like Alzheimer’s that wrack their bodies. They endure social issues like elder
abuse that wreck their souls. But perhaps worst of all, seniors struggle
against the American
United States, 50 million seniors rely on Medicare. Yet 80% of doctors don’t
discuss aging with their patients. Pensions and retirement funds dwindle. Yet
housing and medical costs skyrocket. A National Institutes of Health study
reported that seniors now spend almost half of their income on housing and
utilities. How can someone enjoy their golden years with such little gold?
As Lillian Rubin points out in her book, 60 on Up: The Truth about Aging in
America, “…getting old sucks. It always has, it always will.” But does it
have to? Below we suggest four simple ways to improve senior safety and senior
care in America. Because who wants life to suck? (Not we at Alert1!)
accept that aging is a process
Our society treats aging as a chronic
disease. Nowadays seniors
can look ageless with the help of a simple procedure. In 2013, the world
spent $262 billion on anti-aging products and services, including creams,
Botox, and plastic surgery. But aging isn’t a condition; it is a certainty. You
can spend all the money you want, but age only goes in one direction: up. Our
physical appearances will age. Our bodies will grow frailer. Our minds
will slow down. And that’s ok.
Accept yourself in
your aging and accept those around you. Go so far as to embrace the benefits of
being wiser and more experienced. As Oliver Wendell Holmes pointed out, “To be
seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty
manage your aging process
senior checkups are vital to determining
your senior health. Talk to your doctor about the things you notice
changing in your mind and body. There are exercises
to sharpen your brain just as there are to hone your physique. You just
have to ask. If you feel yourself struggling to keep your balance, your doctor
may recommend a medical alert system. Some, like Alert1, come with automatic
fall detection. What a great way to manage possible trips and falls!
doubt of yourself, remember: “It is not how old you are, but how you are old.”
– Actress Marie Dressler
don’t just do what the world expects
Frankly, the world expects you to slow
down and dodder. It’s no offense to you, but that’s what young people think.
And, as you grow older, there’s just more of the young ones than there are of
you. They can’t see the beautiful mind that rests within faded looks. The
lovely and wise Sophia Loren reminds us: “There is a fountain of youth; it is
your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of
the people you love. When you will learn
to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.”
So don’t slow down. What you are great
at, do more of. If you love running, enter your first marathon. If you’re a
reader, pick up that five-book Game of
Thrones series. If you’re a classical guitarist, try writing a hip-hop
song. The great thing about being older is that you have nothing to lose. So go
get ‘em, tiger. What are you waiting for?
take a stand
Many of us grew up in households where
mom did most of the nurturing. The gender roles persist into our aging process.
In California, 77% of in-home caregivers are women. Most of those women drop
out of the workforce to care for their families. The caregiving that these
women provide amounts to $400 billion of unpaid or lost wages!
If we are serious about providing great care to our most aged citizens, we should pay these caregiving women. The Federal government could pay them outright, or we could reform the tax treatment of caregiving. Caregivers with relatives as dependents may qualify for a tax credit if their income is no greater than $3,900. To claim a dependent, the caregiver must have provided 50 percent or more of their relative’s care. If we value caregivers, and by extension the seniors cared for, we would increase that amount. If we value care at a higher level perhaps we can get a higher level of care.
We should also expand Medicare to
pay for services that support caregiving. Much of what is
covered by Medicare includes health expenses without consideration for living
care for seniors at home. As much as they care, family
caregivers cannot spend every waking moment watching out for someone. For
the times they must leave the room or look away, they could rely on simple aids
like medical alert systems for seniors
to support them. Our governments should provide such lifesaving systems free of
charge to our citizens.
Lady Rosalynn Carter once remarked that “There are only four kinds of people in
the world: those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers;
those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.” How right
she was. We will all be at least one in our lifetimes. Why not be the best
caregiving country that we can be?
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