Oregon Senior Transitions
A stressful time for Seniors
Figuring out how your going to pay for Longterm or Hospice care, can be a very stressful time for seniors and families.

Figuring out how your going to pay for Longterm or Hospice care, can be a very stressful time for seniors and families.

America is getting older with time! According to the US Census Bureau projects, by 2030, the number of Americans 65 and older will increase to 70 million. This brings a lot of stress and challenges for seniors and their families.. 

Stress is a part of life that comes in many forms. But the stress related to the family can take a toll on you. Aging is inevitable, and with age comes many difficulties that contribute to even more stress, and coping becomes difficult.

When a person becomes older, they have difficulty living independently. They either have some chronic illness or don’t have enough energy left to do things. This brings stress to them and their families. Older people usually don’t have their own income to receive medical assistance, so they rely entirely on their families for all kinds of support. 

Stress is a part of life that comes in many forms. But the stress related to the family can take a toll on you. Aging is inevitable, and with age comes many difficulties that contribute to even more stress, and coping becomes difficult.

Changes in Stress with Age

As we age, our bodies react differently to stress, which can have mental and physical effects. When a person becomes stressed, their brain senses danger and the muscles contract; the adrenaline gland releases more adrenaline and cortisol. As a result, the person becomes hyperactive, and experiences increase blood pressure and heart rate. All of which isn’t good for the older adult with underlying health problems. When older adults are under continuous stress, it can weaken their immune system, decline their health fitness and increase risks for heart disease.

Moreover, it also includes mental changes such as short-term cognitive or sleep-related issues. This is why seniors have trouble sleeping at night because the stress of growing old and not being able to live on their own keeps them uneasy. The solution to this is long-term care which can significantly improve their life and keep their stress at bay.

What is Long Term Care

Long-term care services include different services such as home care, assisted living, memory care, etc. the majority of older adults rely on their unpaid family members. They help them with the daily living activities that include dressing, eating, and bathing. It also includes other instrumental activities, including shopping for groceries and preparing meals. 

The diseases that require long-term care include:

  • Diabetes, Diabetes type 2

  • Parkinson disease

  • Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s Disease 

  • Chronic Disease

  • Depression

  • Cerebrovascular Accident

  • Cognitive Impairment

  • Loss of Functional Capacity, and more

Problems Associated with Long Term Care

Although families have the option to outsource assisted living services, the rising cost of healthcare in the US leaves no option for families other than to bear the burden by themselves. Most Americans take care of an aging family member by themselves. Long-term care, when done by family members, can leave the caregiver in physical, emotional and financial burden. The family members have to pay out of their pockets, and the expenses of medical bills aren’t unknown to anyone. Another common problem is that not every family has unpaid members to take care of the parents. They have to bear work-related issues like going late, performance problems, heavy stress of managing multiple things, and more. This is the reality of millions of middle-aged people who have to care for their parents, raise children, and look after everyone’s finances. 

Some families decide to shift their loved ones to an assisted living community because many diseases require a better environment and 24/7 assistance, which isn’t always possible at every home. In contrast, some families hire in-house long-term care services. Both of these decisions bring their own challenges and stress, such as: 

  • Making Arrangements

It has been found that the family members experience a lot of stress and anxiety while arranging the placements or choosing an appropriate caregiver. It includes finding a suitable assisted living community that ensures the comfort and safety of the patient. The paper works and other documentation, and there are chances that they can be placed on waiting lists which make the whole process even more challenging. These cases are time-sensitive, and the sooner the families find the appropriate services for their elderly, the better. 

Such situations require the caregivers or service providers to be empathetic and have high standards of quality to ensure that the parents will be taken care of. It isn’t an easy decision to trust someone with your family member’s life. 

  • Being Present 

Most families remain involved even after shifting them to the assisted living community to provide them with continual care. This also creates some problems like the hassle of visiting regularly. Assisting the patient’s activities in the community, handling finances, medication and insurance and communicating with the staff. Moreover, if they are getting the care at home, this requires being even more involved because they are right at home, and you need to ensure that everything is alright.

  • Dealing with Guilt

One thing that puts family members in depression is the feeling of guilt. Everyone loves their parents, and they would want the best care for them. The career or other necessities can make it difficult for them to provide optimum care to their parents or family members, and they have to put them in an assisted living community. This brings a lot of guilt that they might have put them down.  

  • Working With the Staff

Having a third person in your home who you don’t know can be an issue for the whole family. It's natural to feel a little disturbed when someone else starts to stay with you, and it becomes even worse when they don’t do the work right. When your loved one’s care isn’t how it should be, or they aren’t interacting or assisting them how you want them, it can quickly frustrate you. Another issue is that there can be a staff turnover, and the person taking care of your family member isn’t there anymore. Then adjusting to a new staff becomes even more challenging. So all of this brings stress to the family on a daily basis. 

  • Dealing With Conflicts

Every person in the family has their own opinions. For example, a person’s father has a chronic illness that requires placement in an assisted living community; the mother can object to this decision, saying that her husband should receive the care at home. This is just a single example; there can be hundreds of reasons for the conflicts between family members due to emotional or financial reasons. 

  • The Older Adult’s Stress

The stress isn’t limited to the family; it is even more significant for the person who needs assistance. Many times, the elderly don’t agree with receiving care from the medical staff and have trouble adjusting with them. In the cases of shifting to another assisted living community, they feel alone, depressed and even more stressed than they were at home. These situations can be pretty challenging when you are helpless and don’t have the physical abilities to look after yourself and ultimately depend on a stranger. 

  • Handling Financial Burden 

Did you know, the need for in-home long-term care will grow 36% in the next ten years?

Assisted facilities or in-home care for the elderly cost is no less than a nightmare. Today, the most expensive long-term care is in-home services. Most Americans don’t realize that Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for long-term care. However, Medicaid does that too in a few cases only, like having a low income. Due to the tight labor market right now, the medical costs are significantly increasing, which can leave the family under a lot of burdens. However, there are some companies like Oregon Senior Transitions, which offer assistance and support to simplify the eligibility process for those who need and qualify for Medicaid. 

How to Cope with the Stress

Helping the parents with their long-term care isn’t easy, and it needs the family members to be prepared for the stressors to cope with it and meet the needs of their loved ones while taking care of their own physical, mental and emotional well-being. Here are a few ways to do that. 

  • Have A Conversation 

Sometimes, doing something as simple as having a conversation can help both the seniors and families. Most of the time, families tend to avoid the conversations, resulting in even more issues. So before getting started with the long-term care process, it is best to have a conversation and ask how the parents are feeling, what they prefer, how they would feel comfortable, and how they want things to proceed. It will reduce the uncertainty, guilt, stress and help the families arrange the best care for them. 

  • Pre-Transition Counseling Programs

You can sign up for a pre-transition counseling program that most assisted living communities offer. These unique programs help the elderly adjust to the new lifestyle prior to the changes. They get to discuss their concerns and resolve ambiguities involved, so the stress levels will be much less than usual when the time comes. 

  • Referral Services

If the family doesn’t have enough resources or time to find the best assisted living community according to their needs, they can hire services from companies like Oregon Senior Transition who will connect them to the placement services/referral services without any charges. Such services offer referrals to the most suitable assisted living community or in-home service providers. They can support the family through the complicated process of finding suitable caregivers. 

  • Coaching Programs for Caregivers

A caregiver needs to make prompt decisions and have all the knowledge to take care of the patient. As mentioned earlier, these cases are time-sensitive, and therefore, the coaching programs for caregivers can provide them with adequate knowledge and resources to take care of the elderly. 


As our family members get older, their likelihood of developing chronic medical conditions increases. According to AARP (The American Association of Retired Persons), more than 70 million people over 50 years of age have at least one chronic medical condition. These conditions include heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease. When family members with such conditions get older, their need for medical assistance and care increases drastically. 

Those elderly who don’t have any underlying disease can have medical emergencies if they fall or are under much stress. There can be many reasons that require them to be taken care of at all times by an expert. If the senior in your family tells you that they have trouble getting up by themselves or some other physical limitation, this is a strong indicator that they shouldn’t be left on their own. At Oregon Senior Transition, the professionals help families with all kinds of senior care. From providing financial resources to appropriate assisted living communities, they aim to eliminate the stress of both the elderly and the family.