As Clare's needs for care increased due to worsening anxiety and confusion in recent months, I had to agree to hire a PDA ... personal daily aide ... in order for her to remain at her ALR. I was told that her ALR did not have sufficient staffing to assist individual residents during meals or to redirect residents who lose focus during activities.
The old standard of retiring and shuffling off to a retirement community is being re-written by baby boomers who want to enjoy their homes, embrace their communities and age in place as long as they can. By renovating their homes, engaging in the "Village" model, and finding innovative solutions like the Golden Girls Network's Home Companion program, it's now possible for baby boomers to stay in their homes longer.
Why do most Americans have it in their heads that retirement means to take it easy and to back off from life? If you ask a person born in between 1946 and 1964 what retirement means to them, I bet you'd hear a very different perspective. It wouldn't include resting, sitting back, being passive and detaching from life. You'd find the opposite.
Much of the attention on America's rapidly growing aging population is aptly focused on the need for professional, reliable caregivers to help the elderly age at home. What we might forget to consider, however, is the equally critical component of ensuring the homes themselves are eldercare friendly.