Opinion from Bainbridge: Senior care improvement needed in Summit
June 24, 2013
Senior care in Summit
I would like to support the recent letter from Andy Searls regarding senior housing, assisted living and Memory Care in Summit County.
As the facilitator for the Summit County Caregiver, Memory Loss Support Group, I have have seen the need first hand for assisted living and memory care for far too many of our citizens. So often it is couples where one of the pair needs these kinds of services, and is forced to move to get them, and the remaining partner, not needing the services, is forced to also move or to commute to see their loved one. This often comes as a crisis and frequently forces economic hardship as the couple uproots to new living quarters separately, trying to unwind from housing obligations in Summit County. This, all while dealing with serious illness and probable end of life planning. It is heart breaking to see the well partner deal with all this, not ready or wanting to leave Summit County!
The senior housing need is only going to increase as the baby boomer population continues to explode in Summit County. As Ms. Searls quotes, we have one of the fastest growing retirement populations of any county in the state.
As we live longer we encounter illnesses/needs we never imagined in the past. For instance, statistics tell us that one in seven will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease by age 65 and one in two at age 85. These are very scary, real statistics requiring specialized memory care services.
We all want to care for our partners should they become seriously ill but trying to do this without local assisted living and memory care is very difficult. I have seen too many partner/caregivers become ill themselves trying to keep their loved ones home way past the time that is practical, as they fight leaving the place they both love.
Facilitator, Summit County Caregiver, Memory Loss Support Group