Holiday Visits to Aging Parents Cause Higher Demands for Eldercare Services

Written by babyboomers  |  23. December 2004

Baby Boomers May Need Immediate Help from Florida Senior-Serving Professionals A December survey of Florida senior care agencies and facilities shows a seasonal spike in demand for their services. According to Sharon Sultan Cutler, whose website, www.MatureResources.org, sponsored the survey, "When out-of-town children visit their elderly parents during major holidays, they may discover that their loved ones' health or living conditions are not as rosy as mom or dad tell them on their long-distance telephone calls." Parents are reluctant and even fearful of letting on to their children that they are weakening or require some extra assistance in daily living activities. "Most elders prefer to age with independence and dignity," added Cutler. "Family members are astounded at the difference they've seen in the six months to a year since they last visited," according to Gloria Jacobs, Branch Manager of Senior Home Companions in Boca Raton. "Older people might compensate on the phone because of their own denial about their decline or fear of burdening their child. In a short amount of time, the children may see new signs like rotting food in the refrigerator, loss of weight, or an unkempt home. A real sit-down conversation may also reveal memory loss." The brighter side is that people do get help, Jacobs says. Through agencies like hers, relatives can find safe reliable assistance in the form of a mature, retired person serving as a care-giving companion. For those who are not sick but may be slowing up a bit, Senior Home Companions provides caregivers who have the maturity and mutual background that matches their clients. "Most elderly have a very real fear of leaving their homes," said Sally Bondi, Marketing Director of the Fort Lauderdale-based office of Comfort Keepers. "We do see a spike in our home care request calls from visiting children during the holiday season. They want to be able to give their parents a safe and secure feeling about staying in their home with home care assistance." For independent living and assisted-living facilities, the need for their services generally is not as urgent. "Usually a family sees the future need coming before a person becomes a potential resident at a facility such as ours," said Donna Andrews, the Marketing Director at The Plaza at Boynton Beach. "I gave two tours on Thanksgiving Day this year," she added. For the estimated 7 to 10 million Americans who are long-distance caregivers, finding eldercare help is often a frustrating, decentralized quest, especially in Florida, New York and California, the three states with the largest 50 plus populations. "Everywhere there are a variety of senior-serving professionals, home health care agencies and senior housing - if only you can find the right solution at the time you need help," said Cutler, a Certified Senior Advisor. When Sharon Cutler saw the glaring need for caregiver and eldercare information, she created a comprehensive national website with a senior focus. The website, www.MatureResources.org, has a monthly Ezine (an internet magazine), a professional business directory, government links, senior agency listings and expert geriatric advice. For further information, visit the website, telephone 561-375-8603 or e-mail matureresources@adelphia.net . ### Sharon Sultan Cutler President, Editor, Certified Senior Advisor www.MatureResources.org s.cutler@matureresources.net phone 561-375-8603 fax 561-375-7885

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