NShore Patient Advocates, LLC
150 S. Wacker, Ste 2400, Chicago, IL 60606
info@northshorern.com  ·  312-788-2640

The NSPA Blog

The Caregiver Conundrum

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The number of seniors in America is skyrocketing, just as the number of available family members per seniors is declining

This poses a caregiver conundrum for a lot of people. 50 years ago, it was easy. As parents or grandparents aged, their nearby family members would take care of them. Now, families are having fewer children. As Baby Boomers reach seniority, we have a storm a-brewing.

Caregiving 101

From Google, “a caregiver is a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled person.” Being a caregiver is no simple task. Anyone who’s acted as one already knows, it takes a village. So even for families who have an available child or grandchild to help out,  caregiver burnout is frequent. Caregiving involves a fundamental balancing act. When there are too many decision makers with competing opinions of the best way to take care of mom or dad, conflict occurs. It’s messy and delicate, all at once.

A need we can’t ignore

Aging alone is becoming more and more frequent. We talk a lot about ‘aging well’ as part of the national conversation. Part of this conversation now has to include aging out of isolation. At NShore, we call the phenomenon the growing problem of senior orphans in America. Senior orphans are simply aging adults with no nearby family members to help take care of them. This can even include married couples who are unable to take care of each other comprehensively. Without a proper support network, these individuals are at serious risk. Further, aging alone can lead to serious health risks. In these instances, we see greater levels of breast cancer, heart disease, and depression.

A future we fight for

Still, senior orphans aren’t alone. Of course, as RN patient advocates, we’re available to step in to help anyway we can. Even just to coordinate care as neutral  3rd parties, advocates can reduce medical error and help improve health outcomes. We also see support from volunteers, spiritual peers, care managers, and social workers. Help is out there, you just need to know where to look.

 

As always, feel free to contact NShore Patient Advocates with questions or concerns. We’re here for you.

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

For a no-cost 30 minute initial consultation, please call 847-612-6684 or click here to fill out our online callback request form.