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WV Baby Boomers Not Ready to Care for Aging Parents, Survey Says

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Monday, November 12, 2007   

Charleston, WV – West Virginia baby boomers are not prepared to care for their aging parents, according to a new survey from the American Association of Retired Persons. The AARP has found that, while more families are talking about living arrangements for aging parents, only 40 percent of them have started making plans.

Roy Herzbach, director of the Long Term Care Ombudsman program for Legal Aid of West Virginia, says elderly parents and their children need to talk about what the parent wants and look into options, but those decisions often are put off until a crisis occurs.

"The person will go into a hospital, and that'll be the alert that they need these services. But by then it's often too late to really pick and choose the kind of service they would like to have."

According to AARP's survey, financial arrangements often are overlooked, and most families underestimate the costs of home health care, nursing homes and other types of care delivery. Herzbach explains it's worth looking into the growing number of options for seniors that can help them stay in their community and live independently.

"Many people think only in terms of nursing homes, when in fact, there's assisted living and also in-home services."

Herzbach says West Virginians can find information at local senior centers, through the state's Bureau of Senior Services or from the long-term care program at Legal Aid of West Virginia.

A free "Prepare to Care" guide is available at www.aarp.org. The AARP survey results are also available online, at www.aarp.org.




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