CLEVELAND — Leaders with the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging report the demand for senior care in Northeast Ohio will continue grow at a rapid rate and believe it's critical families be better prepared to take care of aging loved ones.
Agency CEO Dr. Douglas Beach pointed to a Miami University Gerontology study that indicates the senior population in Cuyahoga County could double over the next ten years.
Beach said it's important families keep closer watch on their elderly parents, and that early intervention and prevention is important in safe guarding their living environments.
"Seniors continue to live longer, and our issue is how to we keep them healthy for a longer period of time," Beach said.
Beach said there are currently 9,000 people in his agency care management system through the Aging and Disability Resources Center.
Senior Director of Clinical Services, Sheila Dessau said the number of seniors in need are growing for a simple reason.
"It's going to be a big issue, because we're running into the baby boomers coming into that age group where they're going to need more assistance," Dessau said.
Aging Resource Center Director Terri Foster said safe guarding your home, or the home of your aging parents, is a good first step.
"Like a throw rug for example, they could trip over it and fall, Foster said.
"Lighting is very important, how much light do you have?"
"Do you have burnt-out bulbs, and is anybody checking those and testing them?"
"Do you have grab bars in your bathroom?"
Paula Mitten of Cleveland Heights said the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging has been invaluable in providing key resources, in helping her take care of her 94-year-old mother Doris Dewey.
Mitten has been caring for her mother at her home for the past 13 years and said it's so important families keep up regular checks on their aging parents.
"They're lonely, they want to see you, they need help, someone to take them the grocery store," Mitten said.
"Touch base, if you're out-of-state, have someone you know, a friend, go over and make sure they're okay."