It Takes a Village to Care for “Mom”
By Eileen Doherty, MS ~
DENVER, CO – The saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child”. In today’s world “it takes a village to care for Mom”. Many Baby Boomers find themselves caring for an elder parent, neighbor or friend. Older adults want to be as independent as possible, thus living at home and bringing services to the home is often the goal.
In Colorado, there are hundreds of agencies that provide services to meet the needs of elders in the areas of housing, home care, and home repair. Older adults find themselves needing more health care services and often are more dependent on others to assist in ways they never thought would be necessary, such as a second set of “ears” at the doctor’s office.
In Colorado more than $3 billion worth of uncompensated elder care is provided each year by family members and friends. Oftentimes finding care and services is complex. Families do not know where to turn and finding themselves searching endlessly on the internet for the right services, asking friends, or just “making do”.
Recently at the Salute to Creative Aging, several “apps” were introduced to help families share information about the different tasks that each family member performs as a way to share in the lines of communication. Technology such as Facebook (private sites), Face Time and other apps, companion bots and other devices improve the experience of caring for a loved one.
The Society is publishing the 26th Edition of the Colorado Senior Resource Guidebook. The Guidebook is a resource for families, neighbors and friends who are looking to help a loved one with care and services. Copies are available for free at local libraries throughout Colorado. Copies can also be picked up at CGS, 1330 Leyden #148, Denver 80220 for free or mailed for a $10 handling and postage fee.
The Society also offers counseling and support to families seeking help with such complex issues as paying for long term care with Medicare and Medicaid, finding placements for loved ones, or maximizing resources to stay in the home. Call 303-333-3482 for a consultation.
Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society. Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982. She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.