America Has a Major Misconception on Aging

first_imgby, Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.orgTweet12Share16Share9Email37 recently asked 44 long term care experts about why only 37 percent of Americans think they will need long term care when in fact 69 percent actually will.One of those experts, Dr. Bill Thomas, commented on this misconception and its ramifications: Why is there a drastic difference in people’s perception vs reality? There is a river in Egypt, I think you know the name, that explains this.Put more scientifically, human beings have a very limited ability to accurately predict or even really imagine the needs of their future self. This is especially true when that future contains scary possibilities and lies decades in the future.What are the consequences for not being prepared? People who are prepared get to choose the kinds of care they will receive and who will deliver that care.People who are not prepared get care that is chosen by someone else.How would you close the discrepancy gap? We need to change the narrative surrounding aging in general. Your topic is actually just one (very tangible) example of the toll we pay for living in a deeply ageist society. Fixing this problem requires us addressing ageism head on.What advice do you have for consumers about their future care needs? People need to understand that these choices will be made. Preparing now, means that YOU get to make them! Not preparing means that other people (sometimes even people you don’t know or don’t like) will be making them for you.Not preparing is choosing to let other people decide your fate.Click here to read more insights and solutions provided by some of America’s leading care experts.Related PostsAre We Prepared For the Growing Need for Elder Care?Listen now! NPR podcast featuring Dr. Bill Thomas, Dr. Karl Pillemer and Martha Stettinius discussing how communities, families and individuals can do a better job planning for the aging process and the needs of our growing elder population.Can Death Be Different?The Atlantic Monthly’s March issue features a stirring book excerpt from one of the pioneers of the Hospice movement Dr. Ira Byock calling for a transformation of how our society and culture think about and care for people who are dying. In his upcoming book “The Best Care Possible,” Byock…Eden at Home: Culture Change For Home CareWhen you think of culture change in long term care you usually think of efforts to deinstitutionalize big nursing homes, not private homes. After all, if The Eden Alternative® and The Green House® Project models are designed to make long-term-care facilities more “home-like”, why would you need culture change in…Tweet12Share16Share9Email37 SharesTags: caregivinglast_img

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