Monday, December 9, 2019
In some countries, people feel as much of a duty to look after their aging parents as they do to care for their own children.
In other, just as it isn't a parents problem to educate their kids, it's the State's job to look after their aging parents.
Regardless of how you think about this, the sheer volume of seniors that we see coming down the track will impinge on how we imagine caring for our parents.
How we have designed our lives in modern times has dissolved the traditional structure of families and communities. Tackling the care crisis requires us to consider new ways to support our aging family.
With gentrification, globalisation, urban transience, individualism and digitalisation are changing our communities faster than ever - older adults, in particular, can feel left out and left behind.
However "wanting to help" is very different from "being able to help." There is a world of difference between caring for a baby who is learning new skills daily and caring for an aging parent or grand parent who is losing their abilities in front of your heartbroken eyes.
Taking on the full responsibility of single-handedly caring for our aging loved ones can seriously affect the potential workforce. A friend recently shared her story with me:
"I gave up work when my parents hit the point where they couldn't cope, and brought them 200 miles to live in our house. As a consequence, we lost my wage as a source of income which made it very hard."
..it can be hard to help. Think of someone doing 10 hours of care per week, it is hard to do alongside a full-time job. In fact, the poverty rate among working-age carers increases with the number of hours they complete work caring for loved ones.
There is already a high degree of “informal caring” taking place, or non-medical senior care. In the UK alone it's estimated that 5.3 million people were taking on some form of care responsibility.1
Part of the solution could lie in bringing the informal carers into some kind of system. A sort of carers’ strategy that could help people get back into the workplace. How do you answer a question of like - does a full-time employee or part-time carer give the most benefit to society?
The best-case scenario might well be a combination of state-run services coupled with family care by allowing seniors to age at home. But most countries are far away from being able to offer something like this.
It's important to note that caring for aging loved ones is not just about getting people washed and dressed. It's about aspiring to help them live the fullest of lives with dignity - whatever that means for each of us..
At Mon Tonton we are looking to provide ways to make our users feel more connected in the modern World, whatever that means to you. Staying engaged in communities after retirement