Archive - April, 2014

Ill-health dominates fears of growing older

Health issues, a failing mind and the loss of independence are among the biggest fears about getting old, a new UK study has revealed. Loneliness, being a burden to others, having little money to fund their social care or being forced out of their home also feature among the top 10.

 

Worrying about ageing

It also emerged that the age we start to worry is getting lower, with almost seven in 10 of those in their early 50s admitting their fears started sometime in their 40s, compared to just 14 percent of those who are already pensioners.

But 70 percent admit they have no plans in place to deal with growing old, despite more than half admitting it would actually give them peace of mind.

Researchers also found eight in 10 over 50s worry about ageing with some even admitting they are ‘kept awake’ by their fears.

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An innovative approach to eldercare

English book reading event at the Ibasho cafe in Japan.

When you get older, you may need eldercare assistance. With this in mind, where would you prefer to live – in a hospital-like setting, in a hotel-like setting or within your own home amongst a familiar community? These three choices reveal the transition in eldercare models, and how we are now moving towards a new model, what I call the ‘Ibasho’ concept.

With the traditional institutional model, seniors are cared by medical professionals in an efficient, hygienic and safe hospital-like setting. However, seniors often do not want to be viewed as ‘patients’, so this led to the hospitality model, where seniors live in hotel-like environments, benefiting from personalised care. This ‘too-perfect’ scenario was also not ideal, as seniors had no familiarity or control over their environment.

This has led to the Ibasho model, a holistic, integrated concept, where people age within their familiar community, involving a range of people, such as family, medical professionals, caregivers, neighbours and other elders. Elders are now viewed as useful members of the community – people who can contribute their wisdom and experience, rather than as a patient or unwanted burden. This requires a social mindset change in the way elders are perceived and cared for.

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