Families Can Avoid Unnecessary Suffering by Planning for Senior Decline

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 inescapable.

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.

About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1901, Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 350 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology, Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.

SOURCE John Wiley

For further information:

John Nixon
John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.
416-236-4433 ext. 53018

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