YOU can make a difference.
Statistics taken from the St Louis, Missouri area of the Ombudsman organization, aka VOYCE .
"By 2030, the older population is projected to be twice as large as it was in 2000 – growing from 35 million to 71.5 million people. (2009 Long Term Care Insurance Sourcebook, American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance)
"Of the older population with long-term care needs, about 30% have substantial long-term care needs.
"Of these, about 25% are 85 and older, and 70% report they are in fair to poor health. (Long-term Care: Medicaid's role and challenges, Publication #2172, The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation)
"This estimate is influenced by growth in the population of older people in need of care. (The future supply of long-term care workers in relation to the aging baby boom generation: Report to Congress, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Labor)"
YOU are the first line of defense.
YOU are the voice of those who cannot be heard.
YOU are moving daily, no matter your age as a Millennial or Baby Boomer, into that current darkness, that current hidden and seldom spoken about world of Long Term Care Facilities.
YOU hold the keys of knowledge and the ability to speak out about those places where people receive less than quality care, are treated as less than individuals and whose quality of life is managed and hidden in its inadequacies and inabilities through carefully managed reporting and occasional cover up with appearances far above the every day.
Make a friend in a facility. If only to attend a "public event" and get to know someone who you include in your very busy life.
Their life is a life of waiting, of hoping and of needing connectivity with the REAL WORLD, the world beyond their limitations within the walls, sometimes the grounds or areas just outside the walls.
Many residents have no immediate families nearby.
Many residents wait day after day hoping someone in their family can take the time or find the time to visit.
Volunteering or simply finding a reason -- donating craft supplies, teaching a class of some kind, playing a musical instrument -- these small gifts of time make Aging By The Numbers a time in life to look forward to and give meaning to many who place a value on your time even higher than you do.