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We are an ever-changing society We are living longer more women are working outside the house more children need care after school more debilitating illnesses and there are more medical advancements to prolong life These are exiting news and should be very happy to be living in these times But it has its drawbacks We are an aging society with not enough long-term care facilities to keep up with the growth Even communities are having difficulty meeting these needs Caregiving has become a national problem Therefore informal caregiving comes into play With many women working children are coming home to empty houses Again care giving is needed With new debilitating illness and no immediate cures again caregiving is essential With the cost of medical care rising many individuals are remaining at home to receive essential care Patient care is going home because hospitals are discharging patients earlier to avoid absorbing costs that were previously covered by insurance plans According to a recent article in the Nursing Spectrum Magazine the percentage of Medicare patients discharged to home care doubled between 1981 to 1985 due to the Medicare limitations imposed at that time Hospitals are no longer the only places that high-tech care can be delivered to patients An extensive number of these services are now provided in-patients homes every day Andreola 4 In the book Woman On The Front Lines Jessie Allen and Alan Pifer describe the situation in brief Population aging is the major driving force in the caregiving crisis in America Although the number of children needing care is also growing it is the rapidly expanding elderly population that presents the most important challenge 49 Statistics supporting this were reported in a recent Pharmaceutical Journal as follows The growth in home health care is a necessary resultof the graying of America 62 million citizens will be over 65 years old by the year 2025 Nursing homes now care for 1
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