Long Term Care Costs

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The cost of caring for the elderly is expected to skyrocket in the next 20-years.

Not only is this posing a problem for adult children who must take on the role of caregiver, it's also quickly becoming the number one growing issue in the workplace.

At Monday’s SARCOA Seminar an educational opportunity was offered for those working in the health care and hospice industry.

Professionals from nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the Wiregrass gathered to learn how to better serve older residents.

A national alliance survey reveals more than 44 million Americans are providing care to adult family members. That's an estimated 21 percent of all U.S. households.

Because these rising costs can strain your health and finances, SARCOA held a seminar to help professionals help you learn how to manage both.

"We've been doing seminars like this for the last 17 years, although this is the second one focused on long-term care. We like to focus on our professionals and just like to give them a different approach to solve different resolutions," explains Long-Term Care Ombudsman Chermaine Cathon with SARCOA.

The seminar focused on improving many issues in long-term care, from nursing home Medicaid and insurance to food and feeding issues.

It also touched on another important topic: learning how to manage stress.

It’s a condition that if not properly addressed, can have a negative impact on the way care is provided to the elderly.

"If you don't have an outlet to relieve that stress; if you just stay there 24 hours a day thinking you can't do anything except stay in that place, you're no good to them," says Community Educator with Care South, Sandy Watson.

Working adults aren't the only ones affected by the growing population of elderly people; businesses are feeling the brunt too.

A study by MetLife shows that it costs businesses an average of $2, 441 dollars per employee with care giving responsibilities. Plus, the total estimated cost to employers for all full-time employed caregivers is $33.6 billion dollars.

Watson believes the best way to combat these expenses is to use your resources. "The Wiregrass is blessed with home health care, Hospice, and senior centers that can help you eliminate some of that stress; all you have to do is ask for it,” she says.

Help is available for Wiregrass families.

There are more than 38 senior citizen centers in the SARCOA network in seven Wiregrass counties.

If you're looking for more information on long-term care, you can visit SARCOA’s website at www.sarcoa.org.