Monday, April 17, 2017
A recent study, conducted by Amy Ziettlow and Naomi Cahn and detailed in Homeward Bound: Modern Families, Elder Care, and Loss, presents evidence that as the family structure becomes more complex, elder care also becomes more complex, leaving institutions unprepared to handle these realities. As 79 million Baby Boomers encounter old age, their diverse family structures will need to sustain the burden of care, often relying on the support of different family members than in the past. Specifically, Ziettlow and Cahn reveal how current approaches to elder care are cemented in outdated caregiving models, which presume life-long connections and valuable safety nets for late-in-life caregiving. Accordingly, the authors present solutions centering on awareness and preparation: additional support for individual incapacity and death planning, and the creation of legal, political, and social planning for American elders during a time of increasingly complex familial ties.
See Amy Ziettlow & Naomi Cahn, Family Scholars Find Modern Families Need Extra Help When a Loved One Dies, Homeward Bound: Modern Families, Elder Care and Loss, April 10, 2017.