Too many families opt for the head-in-the-sand approach to senior care
rather than adopting a more effective business-like attitude.
TORONTO, July 9, 2012 /CNW/ - The warranty on our body parts can be
expected to expire by age 69, according to two Statistics Canada
projections—the disability-free life expectancy and the health-adjusted
life expectancy—that distinguish between healthy years and years lived
with at least one disability that decreases the ability to function in
society. The out-of-warranty years might well be called the rusty
years, instead of the golden years, because 55% of seniors in Ontario
have two or more disabling chronic diseases, according to Bridgepoint
Hospital in Toronto. These are progressive illnesses, such as heart
disease, cancer, dementia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and diabetes
that seniors are likely to have for more years than in the past,
because life-saving and life-extending medical advances are keeping
them alive longer.
Multiple chronic diseases will not only impact many of the growing
number of seniors but also their adult sons, daughters, and spouses who
will be responsible for their care, as their illnesses eventually rob
them of their ability to live independently. Most of us, however, are
unwilling to face death and the dying process, and fail to plan for the
increasing care needs, living arrangement changes, eldercare costs, and
passing on of the estate.
"This denial of the declining years is causing undue suffering that can
be avoided by making the necessary preparations," says author Shirley
Roberts. Unless we die before we get old, senior decline is
Roberts' new book, Doris Inc.: A Business Approach to Caring for Your Elderly Parents, chronicles senior decline with her true and touching story, and shares
proven strategies and practical advice about caring for elderly loved
ones. The all-too-common approach of keeping our head-in-the-sand until
a crisis jolts us into action is tough on everyone involved, and often
results in great stress, neglect of parents and spouses, stalled
careers, and burnt-out family caregivers. Roberts goes further to point
out that "this approach to senior decline can lead to hasty,
ill-informed decisions, family feuds over medical care options, who
will be the primary caregiver, and where elders should live." A more
proactive, business-like approach works better for all family members.
Shirley Roberts is available for interviews and can speak about how to
plan for the stages of senior decline and to best minimize the
pressures that come along with them.
About the Author
Shirley Roberts is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University
of Western Ontario and the author of Harness the Future: The 9 Keys to Emerging Consumer Behaviour. Roberts was a member of the Board of Directors of Parkinson society
Canada from 2006-2009, and was the primary caregiver for her mother who
had Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and heart diseases.
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