The holidays are a time for family get-togethers, where loved ones reconnect. But after the party, we often forget about the burden on our volunteer caregivers, many of whom are caring for both elderly relatives and their own children.
The Pittsburgh Regional Caregivers Survey (Dec. 6, “Pitt Report: Age Issues Make Caregivers Here More Challenged”) found that 84 percent of relatives and friends who assist adults age 50 or older are in that age group themselves. Nearly one in five puts in 40 or more hours per week. Caregiver burnout is real. With these facts in mind, I urge my colleagues in the senior care industry to shift their thinking.
The senior “home” of yesterday conjures a negative image. It’s no surprise that we look to family members and friends as an alternative. Yesterday’s approach, and the pervasive perception of our industry, must change. Leaders in senior care must implement innovations like intergenerational living, an expansion of home health services and flexible care offerings to help keep seniors active and independent.
Vincentian is addressing this at our soon-to-be-built Terrace Place at Vincentian, a 91-unit, 55-plus active-living community in McCandless. Apartment homes will be adaptive, with features like smart technology and accessibility options that can evolve as residents, and their needs, change. Vincentian doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but we do pledge to work to find the solutions.
President and CEO
Vincentian Collaborative System
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