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Senior Care Crisis?

Less than half (47 percent) of future family caregivers say they are knowledgeable about their parents' medical histories in case of an emergency.
Less than half (47 percent) of future family caregivers say they are knowledgeable about their parents' medical histories in case of an emergency.

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May 31, 2011

New Resource Can Help You Get Information Fast

As a senior care professional you've been there before, maybe a hundred times. Sitting across from you: that older adult who's taking so many medications she can't remember them all. Perhaps she can't recall all the names of her various doctors. Maybe he doesn't know whether he has a living will or where it is. You call that senior's primary contact – the adult son or daughter. Chances are, they don't have a clue.

Research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care® network confirms what you already know. Less than half (47 percent) of future family caregivers say they are knowledgeable about their parents' medical histories in case of an emergency. Home Instead Senior Care surveyed future family caregivers – those who are likely to be caregivers in the next 10 years – about their knowledge and awareness of their parents' important information and approximately half (49 percent) are unable to name any of the medications taken by their parents each day*. Furthermore, 36 percent of those future caregivers don't know where their seniors' financial information is located.

If the issue with that senior is, in fact, an emergency; for instance, if that older adult is unconscious and can't even respond to questions, the stakes are high. And every minute counts.

"Home Instead Senior Care has a front-row seat to these crises," said Jeff Huber, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Home Instead Senior Care network. "We're often referred by a senior care professional to help families during an emergency. So we know the serious impact this lack of knowledge can have on family caregivers and those who serve older adults."

That's why the Home Instead network developed the Caring for Your Parents: Senior Emergency KitSM management tool and website to help family caregivers track medications and other important information regarding their senior loved ones' health.

This toolkit includes checklists and worksheets for medications, conditions, allergies, doctors, health advisors and other important documents. It provides them with a single place to store their senior loved one's vital information so they can easily find it when they (and you) need it most.

Encourage family caregivers, clients and patients to learn more about this valuable resource by going to the Senior Emergency Kit website. When a crisis occurs, a senior's life could depend on it.

* The Boomer Project (www.boomerproject.com) conducted a 15-minute online survey conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network of 611 U.S. adults and 290 Canadian adults ages 45-65 who said they are likely to assume a caregiver role for their parents within the next 10 years.

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