Family caregivers understand the apprehension that often comes with worrying about their senior parents…the anticipation of a midnight phone call can be nerve-racking for anyone. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) even though seniors represent just over 13 percent of the population, they consume 40 percent of prescription drugs and 35 percent of all over-the-counter drugs…
Most often family caregivers don’t know what their loved ones’ are taking and to add to the confusion, they are in the dark about their parents and financial and legal information. Home Instead Senior Care® surveyed future family caregivers…those individuals who plan on caring for their parents when the need arises to determine their level of knowledge and awareness when it comes to important information about their parents…What we found was that:
While survey participants overall feel informed about their parents’ health situation, there were ‘knowledge gaps’
A significant number of survey participants predict that they will begin caring for their parents within the next three years; nearly one in 10 says he or she could be called into action literally any minute.
Less than one-half of future caregivers say that they are knowledgeable about their parents’ medical histories in case of an emergency.
Even though a majority of future caregivers say their parents are healthier than other people their age, nearly two-thirds of the parents have two or more medical or health conditions, and nearly one-half takes at least three medications.
Nearly one-half of the parents exhibit three or more “risk factors” that could lead to medication-related problems.
Future caregivers have varying degrees of knowledge about their parents’ advisors and service providers; they are most likely to know their parents’ banker, primary care physician and health insurance provider.
Knowledge of important documents runs hot and cold, with nearly one-third of future caregivers reporting that they don’t know where their parents keep their will and testament or don’t know if they have one.
A significant number of future caregivers say they have not tried to ask their parents for information related to their parents’ health histories or their parents’ plans for the future.
As a result of this study, the Home Instead Senior Care network worked with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) to provide additional information about the relevant topic of medication management. Also, the Home Instead Senior Care network and Humana Points of Caregiving® worked together to develop the Caring for Your Seniors: Senior Emergency Kit; an information management tool and website to help family caregivers track medications and other important financial information regarding a senior loved one’s health. This toolkit includes checklists and worksheets for medications, conditions, allergies, doctors, health advisors and a place to store other vital records.