How Will Millennials Choose Long Term Care For Their Elderly Parents?

Today millennials have multiple choices when it comes to selecting the ideal facilities for their aging parents. Let’s delve into the essential factors that can aid in making the right decision when choosing a facility

How Will Millennials Choose Long Term Care For Their Elderly Parents?

Taking care of aging parents is one of the biggest concerns for millennials today. The senior citizen population will triple by 2050 and people living over the age of 65 will increase by 111% according to the Population Reference Bureau.  Even though this advancement is a huge victory for the human race, as a generation, most millennials feel like they are overwhelmed by the future and what taking care of their parents entails. 

Today, in the United States a significant number of caregivers are millennials. These millennials are also simultaneously balancing careers of their own and a family as well.  

What many millennials don’t know is that they are at an advantage, compared to the previous generation that had to take care of the elderly population. Baby boomers who had elderly parents to take care of had much fewer options, and not only that, the Silent Generation (born before 1945) mostly opted to age in their homes and it was frowned upon to place elders into communities or Assisted Living. The options and level of care were also nowhere near the level that they are on today. Baby Boomers today are not following their parents’ aging preferences and are therefore keener to find alternative retirement options.

Unlike their parents,  Baby Boomers do not want to place the same burden on their children that their parents placed on them. Therefore, they are exploring different options such as:  Retirement homes, Senior communities and maintaining their independence at home thanks to advances in technology.  They think about finding a good nursing home close to their loved ones that will address their needs. 

Today millennials have more options than ever before when it comes to finding the best facilities for their parents to age. Senior living communities have also been on the rise and the whole senior industry, in general, has been busier than ever, with most senior communities and nursing homes struggling to keep up with the demand. According to Forbes magazine, more than 70% of Baby Boomers want to explore the options of moving into better homes for their Golden Years. They are eager to find the best care senior living facilities and enjoy their retirement. 

Seniors today are opting for facilities with luxurious amenities such as concierge services, technology, fitness, personal training, group travel, and social activities. As a result, millennials should have less guilt when it comes to considering the future of their aging parents, today more than ever before.  

For those who do want to select a long-term care facility and still want their parents to age at home and care for them under their own watchful eye, technology has been playing a significant role, to help ease the burden of caring for a sick or elderly parent. The geriatric population can easily adapt with the help and advances in technology. Smart homes are geared to help seniors live a more independent life and the options, plus ways to implement this, are endless. These are just some examples of how smart homes can make seniors stay home and maintain their independence as a reality. 

Comfort: motion sensors, smart thermostats, motion activated light switches.  

Entertainment: Integrated technologies with different devices, music that can be played all over the house, which can be very therapeutic for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia   

Safety: Smart alarms, wearable devices (ADL systems)  

All of these technologies can also greatly battle some mental health issues that aging individuals have to deal with, such as boredom, depression, and loneliness. all of which has been an epidemic among the geriatric population.  

Should millennials rely solely on technology for something like this? No, but it is safe to say that technology has its benefits, and it does provide some great ways for them to save time and money, while also being able to help their parents adequately. It is a powerful system and one that will continue to be improved as time goes by. 

This generational shift and changes in caring for elderly parents have been in the preparation phase for a very long time due to the increase in life expectancy and it continues to impress with its great value and efficiency. Millennials along with their aging parents are quickly adapting and learning of the many different options that the present and even more so the future, will bring and relying on technology for these types of choices.  Thanks to technology and the many advances in the level of care, Millennials have an abundance of tools and resources to help them, and their parents figure out different alternatives that can provide the best possible care.   

If you are faced with the need to select a long-term facility for your close family member, you should think carefully and conduct thorough research to find a facility that meets your specific needs and provides high-quality care.  Keep in mind the following factors before making your decision: 

1. Location. When choosing a nursing home, make sure the facility’s location is convenient for you.  Most people would want to select a nursing home in proximity, so they can visit their elderly relatives or just drop by to say hello. If something urgent happens, they can arrive quickly and address the issue. Although, some people prefer the facilities to be far from home. Find out what option works best for you.

2. Cost and Fees. When deciding on a nursing home, you will always need to find out whether the services are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. If services are not covered, you will need to pay out of pocket, consequently, you need to find a place with a price that works for you. Find out detailed information about the cost and whether there are hidden services that might not be included. You need to make sure it will be covered by your insurance or affordable for you. Also check how technologically advanced the facility is, as the usage of automation tools such as eligibility verification software can significantly speed up the insurance checks and help avoid losses to both patient and the facility. 

3. Quality of the staff. Make sure you choose the best personal care facility, that has  Medicare and Medicaid certification with an active license.  Ask about the experience, education, and expertise of the staff. Take a closer look at how they interact with each other and with residents. Are they polite, warm, and respectful? Working as a specialized nurse can be challenging and both physically and emotionally demanding.  Make sure that people that work there are fit for that career, and that they are professionals who treat residents with love and respect. Find out how many nurses are on duty for every shift and compare it with the number of residents. Make sure your loved one(s) will have access to medical care and will be treated kindly.  

4. Physical Setup. You need to know how to evaluate assisted living facilities. Pay attention to the building, interior, and exterior design. Does a facility look like a home, or more like a prison? Is it well decorated and maintained? Make sure that it is clean, safe, and has had a high-quality recent update. Rooms designed for two tenants must be easily accessible by both roommates. Attention should be paid to lighting, colors, and acoustics since they deal with elderly and disabled people. Make sure your loved one will feel comfortable and will be able to navigate the building and property easily. 

5. Check the reviews. When you start to research how to find a good nursing home, check the feedback about each facility and google web reviews. Use your best judgment to make sure these reviews are trustworthy because some facilities can arrange fake positive feedback, though many of them can be real.  You can ask friends, family, neighbors, or social workers for advice. Yor healthcare provider can suggest nursing homes that provide high-quality care. You can also visit the facility and ask residents about their experience there. 

6. Trust your gut. Think about your overall impression. Sometimes a place may seem like the best care senior living facility, but you may feel that it is not right for you.  Do not get discouraged, keep looking and you will find a good fit that feels right for you, your family, and your elderly loved ones.  

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