When most people think of technology, they think of smartphones and laptops. While those are definitely examples of technology, the term can be applied to a wider range of objects and phenomena. In general, anything that makes our lives easier or more efficient can be considered technology. And over the years, technology has certainly come a long way. It has improved our lives in countless ways, from making it easier to communicate with others to help save time and energy.
Ever since we published The Aging Tidal Wave, this blog has been tracking how the long-term care industry is accommodating the 3 million baby boomers swamping it every year. This week we're taking a closer look at how the nursing home component of long-term care is holding up.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused social workers to take a closer look at their ingrained prejudices when dealing with the aged. Robert N. Butler coined the term “ageism" in 1969 to describe attitudes, practices, and policies that discriminate against older people. Ageism occurs when people face stereotypes, prejudice, or discrimination because of their age. The assumption that all older people are frail and helpless is a common, incorrect stereotype. Prejudice can consist of feelings such as “older people are unpleasant and difficult to deal with.” Discrimination is evident when older adults’ needs aren’t recognized and respected or when they’re treated less favorably than younger people. Social workers who work with the elderly are realizing that even in their minds age is “a category of difference” like race and gender, but unlike race and gender, age positions older adults as a homogenous group with similar needs.
Today's blog is written by guest blogger, Beverly Nelson, from Stand Up for Caregivers! We truly appreciate her for sharing these helpful insights.
We all have rough periods in life. For seniors, however, slumps can be significantly harder to get out of, especially if they don’t have family around to offer support. Fortunately, friends, neighbors, and other community members have the power to make a difference for a senior feeling down.
Our Aging Population
The number of Americans ages 65 and older will more than double over the next 40 years, reaching 80 million in 2040. The number of adults ages 85 and older, the group most often needing help with basic personal care, will nearly quadruple between 2000 and 2040 due to improvements in life expectancy that have propelled the increase in the older population. Between 1900 and 1960, life expectancy at birth increased from 51 years to 74 years for men and from 58 years to 80 years for women. Life expectancy's future course is uncertain but could grow dramatically. Some experts claim that half of girls born today will live until age 100.
Topics: Elderly/Aging Long Term Care
Somewhere along the line America's pop culture began to malign millennials. They became known as the narcissistic generation that would rather play video games than outdoor sports; craved YouTube fame; wanted only to be tech entrepreneurs; decorated with laptops and futons; were summed up as lazy and self-centered.
The COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation, killing more than 184,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The post pandemic response to this massacre has been confusion, doubt, and indecision on the part of the elderly and their caregivers about the use of long-term care facilities.
It is undeniable that most of us prefer not to look too closely at what goes on in nursing homes across the country. In fact, unless we have a need of nursing home services for ourselves or for our elderly loved ones, we hardly notice them at all. This, of course, is a natural aversion to sickness, aging, and death. However, after COVID-19 ravaged the elderly population in nursing homes, infecting 654,000 residents and killing 132,000 elderly Americans, social workers began to take a closer look at how nursing homes are run and how we can improve the service they seek to provide.
We were surprised by the results of our recent mini-poll, when we asked six case workers serving our elder population what they considered the most pressing current problem elders are facing. 3 out of 6 (50%) said, "internet scams". Internet scams?! What’s going on now? What kind of scoundrel would cheat the elderly out of the last of their nest egg?
Case workers tell us that the shameful practice of scamming seniors is on the rise. With the elderly population growing, seniors racked up more than $3 billion in losses this past year. Case workers say that the heart-breaking irony of elder fraud is that seniors are targeted because they tend to be trusting and polite.
Everyone knows how the pandemic walloped the elderly in 2020. Nursing homes became the epicenter of COVID-19 deaths. No, Mr. Sinatra, it was not “a very good year” for the elderly.