From an Alzheimer’s and dementia perspective, I’m puzzled by the announcement of a senior day-time care service closing in my area due to declining enrollment. With all the statistics pointing towards an Alzheimer’s epidemic as baby boomers age, why is it that in Springfield, Illinois, fewer people are in need of supervised, safe day-time care for aging or disabled seniors? This is definitely a setback for current and future caregivers in need of respite from the 24-7 difficulties associated with caregiving for a loved one with dementia. It seems to me that more of these types of services are needed to keep those afflicted with dementia out of nursing homes for as long as possible.
Even this article mentions how the declining enrollment is against the trend in the state as a whole:
That trend in the Springfield area conflicts with what state officials are seeing elsewhere in the state.
And Shirley Kirk, whose mother was in the program being closed, offers a voice of reason to the whole situation:
“The need has got to be out there in the community,” she said. “There are generations of old people who don’t have a lot of options.”
We seem to be moving backwards with regards to the overwhelming physical and financial burdens of long-term elder care, and it worries me to read about such things happening right here in my hometown. The demand is coming and caregivers need help. We all need to prepare, and this is not the way to do it.