The average American retires at age 62 with an average length of retirement of 13 years. When average lifespans began to increase, the assumption was that retirement would just lengthen as well. For some that has happened but for most people a new time period appeared. We call it post-retirement. It is the number of years between when your body retires and your life ends. Planning for the time period is vitally important. In our lifetime the demise of the nuclear family has occurred, and families often no longer live in the same town or even the same state.
Middle-aged adults can find themselves in what is referred to as a sandwich generation – elderly parents to care for, growing children that still need attention, career considerations, and all the unknowns with rapidly changing systems. Seniors whose active retirement is near the end due to their bodies slowly deteriorating also have financial worries to consider with longer lifespans. All the major demographic groups average lifespans between 75 and 85. The slowing down of daily activities also reduces needed socialization available with communal living.
Safety comes into focus. 25% of seniors fall each year, 40% for those over 80. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries to older Americans. Each year 27,000 die from falls or their aftermath. The care for those who live costs $67 billion to care for. Diseases are far more common the older we get. This is the time to meet all the OLOGIST’s. It is also the time to ensure that the insurance to pay for medical care matches the need. Non-medical care costs need to be planned as well; they are not covered by Medicare. 50% of age 85+ have dementia.
Senior Living during post-retirement is what CarePatrol is focused on. Most people say they want to stay home but need to answer some questions before that is the best choice. When is staying home unsafe? What hands on care needs are there? Is there adequate socialization? Is independent living an option before Assisted Living? What are nursing homes for? We help families find Assisted Living, Memory Care, Independent Living or In-Home Care. We review the care and violation history of all the facilities we work with.
Doctors and documents are key words in eldercare. Estate planning, probate and avoiding probate, Power of Attorney, choosing a healthcare surrogate, living wills. Trusts and wills need to be decided. All these documents make the decisions for you when you can’t. An elder law attorney is the specialist you should seek. As physical and mental capabilities change as we age, our willingness to accept help is important. The greatest post-retirement plan is wasted if it is not implemented. Plan who needs to know what in the event of an emergency.
Post-retirement plans mean you have aged longer than normal. Healthy aging rests on four pillars, all of which are enhanced by choosing a senior living community. Movement is a group setting is disguised exercise. Nutrition comes from eating with others, prepared by a chef, controlled by a dietician. Sleep comes from less worry, more lifestyle and having daily needs met. Purpose can always be found in others. Where better to find your purpose than surrounded by other people in a communal setting. That is the Senior Living industry.