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Long-term care fraught with uncertainties for elderly baby boomers
Date:7/9/2008

of the current generation of female offspring who must juggle work and family responsibilities are unclear, he said.

"We know that women have succeeded in being comfortable in going back to work even when they have a baby less than a year old and assigning that care to somebody else," he said. "Now the question is how will they react when they confront the possibility of leaving their older parents?"

New technology may make that transition easier, Golant said. The development of sophisticated monitoring and surveillance devices that would allow grown children to track their parents' daily movements on a computer screen from home or work, for example, would revolutionize attitudes about nursing home and assisted living facilities, he said.

"Suddenly some of the downsides of not living at home would be minimized because sons and daughters could feel very much involved with the caregiving experience of their mothers and fathers even without physically being there," he said. "They could see parents in their rooms, walk with them to the dining hall and even communicate with them in real time."

Businesses and social service agencies are preparing for the surge of aging baby boomers, an estimated seven out of 10 of whom are expected to require long-term care at some point after they reach the age of 65, Golant said. Many will also face the issue of a parent needing long-term care before reaching that stage themselves, he said.

Nursing homes are increasingly gearing their business toward acute episodes, such as strokes, which call for short rehabilitative recovery periods, Golant said. When they offer long-term care, nursing homes increasingly serve poorer people and are funded through the Medicaid program, while assisted living caters to private paying individuals with higher incomes or salable assets such as an expensive home or stock portfolio.

To be competitive, nursing homes are trying to transform themselves into
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Contact: Stephen Golant
golant@geog.ufl.edu
352-392-0494
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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