Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I wish I hadn't just watched iRobot!

photo: nydn.org
Did you see the story about the 90-something woman who exhumed her dead husband and dead twin sister, propped them on separate couches in her tidy little home, and enjoyed little chats about her day while drinking tea? I made up the tea part. She's more of a vodka tonic kinda gal. OK, I made that part up too. I did NOT make up the dead people part.

The article didn't say whether Miss Jean had any children or church members to check up on her, although there apparently were neighbors who helped out. The investigators determined she was mentally healthy - except for the whole "I see dead people" thing.

The population of elderly folks is predicted to double before 2050, with most of the growth occurring between 2010 and 2030 when our Baby Boomer parents reach their elder years. These aging parents will need support and care from adult children. There's something called the parent-support ratio that I found...um...interesting. The ratio is predicted to be almost 3.5 "kids" aged 50-64 to care for every one parent over age 85. Of those elders over age 85 who are not "institutionalized", 50% need assistance with ordinary, everyday activities like bathing, cooking and getting around the home.

I think isolation is one of the biggest dangers for our elders. There is no substitute for face-to-face contact to help with the inevitable loneliness of living alone or to evaluate mental, spiritual and physical health. All I can say is, we're going to need some help!

Statistics from http://www.census.gov/apsd/www/statbrief/sb95_8.pdf


Shari said...

wow. Just wow.

Stephen said...

Er, I think it says 29 persons aged 85 or older for every 100 persons aged 50 to 64. In other words, almost 3.5 "kids" to care for each senior "parent". Unless there's some kind of Night of the Living Dead zombie corpse reanimation thing going on. Then they could totally outnumber us 29 to 1.

Cari said...

Sometimes it feels like Night of the Living Dead.

Stephen said...