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M. T. Connolly used to be the head of the Elder Care Initiative for the U. S. Department of Justice. Now, she has released a book examining the systems that people typically count on as they get older. That includes healthcare, family members as caregivers, senior-living communities, and other options.
Because so many people in the United States are living into their 70s, 80s, and beyond, making sure they have the proper care is becoming more difficult and costly. But that’s not the only issue. Sexism, racism, and other rampant prejudice also get in the way of ensuring everyone gets proper care as they age.
Untrained caregivers, such as family members and friends, can suffer from burnout. They may also cause harm because they don’t understand the right way to care for their aging relatives or simply aren’t able to provide the needed care. Additionally, sending an elderly person to a care facility can be dangerous because some of these facilities don’t provide the quality and value that their residents deserve.
Unfortunately, many older people are unprepared for the ways their body and mind may change as they age. As they need to make adjustments to the ways they live and the things they do, protecting themselves and their assets becomes even more important. The best way to handle aging is to prepare for it as much as possible, and doing that requires a strong understanding of the physical, mental, and financial situation in the present, as well as options for the future.
By the time someone is in their 80s, the chances of a “functional disability” that can affect quality of life rises sharply, with three-quarters of people who make it to that age experiencing these kinds of problems.
Understanding ways to improve life for elderly people as they age is an important societal issue, and Connolly suggests mixed-age communities, anxiety and depression treatment through psychotropic medications, and other options that can improve quality of life and security for seniors. The current system often fails elderly people, but there are opportunities to change that for the better.
At The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center, we are committed to helping people protect what matters most. Contact us today to learn more!