Understanding the Need For Care
Older people have always needed attention and care, but recently the demand for professional assistance has increased. This is due to a number of factors.
The first is longevity. Great increases in our knowledge of human health and metabolism have allowed us to extend the average human lifespan by a few decades, compared to the recent past. While this surely is a positive development, it means that many cognitive and physical conditions, previously rare and found only in the very aged appear with greater and greater frequency. Quite often, Long Term Care is the only way to meet the needs their ailments have created.
Another factor that increases the need for Long Term Care is the changed structure of the family. In times past, the family of an elderly relative might automatically take them in and care for them when they reached a certain age. This was possible because there was still a sizeable portion of women not working and staying at home. However, now most women help support their family, and there rarely is someone with enough time to care for another adult. The increase in the divorce rate has similarly reduced the number of children with free time to care for a parent.