The U.S. population age 65 and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years. By 2030, almost 1-out-of-5 Americans — some 72 million people — will be 65 years or older. The age group 85 and older is now the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. (Stats from census.gov)
But most older adults, especially baby boomers (76 million born between 1946-1964) already know what the challenges of growing older are. As with so many other things, we are learning through our parents. They are tackling aging with the same courage that got them through two world wars, a whipsawing economy, and rock-n-roll music inflicted by their young 'uns.
This has been brought home to me and my husband over the last four years. We each have one parent still living, and each parent has just enough health issues to require help with and oversight of their daily living needs.
When my mother was hospitalized during the last month of her life, her doctor actually forced me to argue with him over the phone in her room. I had asked him for some explanations about the discharge process, and he kept putting me off to the nurses--they take care of all that, he said. Without raising my voice I told him that I wanted to hear it from HIM. He finally complied.
Do you have someone in your life who will take the time and energy on your behalf to probe, question, push back, explore and demand better care for you when you are not able to?
If you don't, what will you do about it?
This is something I'm working on too.