It is a fact, people are living longer. Consider this: almost 58 million people worldwide will turn 60 this year. That may not scare you, but this will. By 2050, there will be more old people than children for the first time in history. So we have to ask the question “Who will take care of these older adults?”
Informal support systems for older persons – such as children supporting their ageing parents’ personal care needs – are increasingly finding themselves under stress. A United Nations report observes “Lower fertility, out migration of the young, and women working outside the home” as contributing factors.
So for the most part, it’s the old taking care of the old. Australian Social Trends found that there were over half a million people aged 65 or more who provided personal care for another person, and over half of these elderly carers have some form of disability themselves.
As the cost of hospital and nursing home delivering healthcare continues to grow, the consumption of a low cost alternative in the form of personal care for the elderly, sick and disabled has also increased. In-home Aged Care is not only cost effective; it’s what the elderly want. According to a US Home Healthcare Overview “a majority, 80 percent, of those over age 60 choose to live independently”
A certain trend following on from these facts is an increased need for personal care services to be delivered by specialist agencies with qualified staff will continue.
Using personal care services delivered by specialist agencies to people in their own home is beneficial to both the ageing parent, and also to the children who want to support their parents remaining at home. It is cost effective; it takes the pressure away from the children of ageing parents, who are themselves time-stretched with work obligations and family commitments, and it makes the life of their ageing loved one comfortable in the place they prefer to be – their family home.