Floridians concerned about ability to care for aging parents, new poll shows

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The Florida Health Care Association has launched a new website to help people research long-term care options for their elderly parents.

FHCA has also commissioned a Mason-Dixon survey which indicates a majority of Floridians, 58 percent, are concerned about their ability to help a family member with age-related issues. According to the AARP, nearly 2.8 million Florida caregivers help an elderly family member with everything from transportation to health care.

As part of observance of its 60th anniversary, the FHA has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to officially release the results of the Mason Dixon poll, announce the launch of a new website, www.ElderCareFlorida.com, and the publication of a report, 60 Years of Caring, documenting the past 60 years of long term care in Florida.

Mason-Dixon found that more than two-thirds of respondents expressed concerned about their ability to care for the diminishing mental capabilities of an aging parent.  Within the next decade Baby Boomers will be entering their 80s. That and the survey results, say the FHCA, underscore the need for Florida’s next governor to ensure that a range of service options is in place to help a growing aging population.

“As Florida begins to feel the impact of aging Baby Boomers, it’s important we identify the needs and concerns of those who will be responsible for their care,” said Joe Mitchell, president of FHCA. “Many adult Floridians will soon be taking on greater responsibilities for their parents’ care.”

The  elder care  website offers explanations on various care options available as well tips for dealing with issues such as memory loss, depression and falls. It will also provide a forum for people to share their experiences.

The poll offers insights into the attitudes of the so-called “sandwich” generation, working-age adults who have children of their own and also help with the care of their parents. More than one in three Floridians who have a family member in assisted living also have children under the age of 18.

A clear majority of respondents, 56 percent, rated their most recent experience with a nursing home as either very positive or somewhat positive.