Caring for the elderly has become a growing concern for many Australians. As the ageing population increases, it creates a myriad of challenges that both families and the government health system are facing. Not to mention the number of personal challenges they would be facing themselves. Many still live in the family home which requires daily maintenance and often large gardens to upkeep. If their spouse has passed away, they’d be living alone. Driving can become an issue which restricts their independence and ability to buy groceries, attend doctors’ appointments or visit friends. Cooking for one isn’t fun. Predictability of lifestyle makes them an easy target for break ins and theft leaving them vulnerable and in potential danger. Living in an aged care facility isn’t always an option. Loneliness can easily step in which can undoubtedly form into depression. Many elderlies have fallen victim to scammers who make them feel loved and cared for, then steal their life savings. So, as a society, how can we care for the ever-growing elderly population?
In 2016, there were 3.7 million (15%) Australians aged 65 and over-increasing from 319,000 (5%) in 1926 and 1.3 million (9%) in 1976. The number and proportion of older Australians is expected to continue to grow. By 2056, it is projected there will be 8.7 million older Australians (22% of the population); by 2096, 12.8 million people (25%) will be aged 65 years and over.
According to the Bureau of Statistics in Australia, some older people live in a home which has more bedrooms than the number of people who usually live there. This may be through their own choice. A large proportion of older people who were a spouse or partner (76%) or in a lone person household (65%), lived in a home with two or more spare bedrooms.
Many older people live with family members in private homes, but as people age they are likely to undergo changes in their living arrangements.
Their living arrangements vary by age, gender and whether they need assistance with everyday activities.
The Sandwich generation is a growing group of people, typically in their forties and fifties, who are raising children, caring for their ageing parents and juggling responsibilities of work all at the same time. They are sandwiched in between their own families and their ageing parents and the pressure can be overwhelming. They too, need some relief and support and the comfort of knowing their ageing parents are okay.
The Netherlands has made a connection between University students needing affordable accommodation and the high cost of running aged care facilities. For 30 hours of help each month, a university student can live in a small unit rent free. The students help around the facility and also spend time teaching the elderly new skills such as how to send an email, use social media and skype with their loved ones. It not only provides a solution in regard to costs associated with running the aged care facility and the students living costs, it’s also bridging the gap between generations who usually wouldn’t connect on such an intimate level.
There has been a lot of discussion about downsizing the family home as a solution and having the elderly move into a smaller unit that is easier for them to maintain. However, many elderly people live in the home they raised their children in. These homes have not only housed them physically, but they also house their life long memories, familiarity with the neighbourhood and friends who live locally. Asking the elderly to downsize might help solve some of the associated problems, but it comes at a great personal and sometimes financial cost.
The Room Xchange provides a viable and cost-effective solution for caring for the able elderly. More often than not there’s a spare bedroom available in these homes which is a resource that already exists. As long as the elderly person is physically and mentally able and only requires company and help around the house and not medical care, then having a Guest Xchanging is a great option. Your Guest can provide fourteen hours of help around the house each week such as housework, cooking, gardening or driving to appointments in Xchange for basic food and accommodation. Or, if you don’t need that much help, they can do ten hours a week for accommodation only and pitch in for food. It depends on what your requirements are. Considering the Guest will be living there, you’ve also got the comfort of knowing there is someone sleeping in the house at night and sharing occasional meals together. It’s a win win for all.
With our strict verification process and Digital iD requirement to become a Host and a Guest, you can be sure that your safety and security are of the utmost importance. That, along with your family’s involvement in selecting the right Guest for you ensures you’re in good hands.
If you have a parent that could benefit from the company and help of an Xchanger then book in a time here for a call and we chat through your needs.