Friday, January 7, 2011

Looking to the future of eldercare


It's true that people do not want to think about growing older, especially this baby boomer generation, but act we must. This is the challenge of the Croy Canyon Ranch campaign cabinet: to act upon the idea of caring for seniors in the best way possible as we move toward the twilight years. It does not have to be a dismal action we are pursuing with the foundation—it can be a wonderful, enjoyable place with the best care possible, where the outside will come in for those who can no longer get outside, where good minds who may dwell in bad bodies can still be stimulated and grow, where the anxieties of pain and confusion are kept to a minimum and where families can rest easy, knowing that those they love are well cared for.

In an article titled "Real Life Among the Old Old," published in The New York Times on Dec. 30, author Susan Jacoby writes, "I asked Dr. Butler what he thought of the premise that 90 might become the new 50." 'I'm a scientist,' he replied, 'and a scientist always hopes for the big breakthrough. The trouble with expecting 90 to become the new 50 is it can stop rational discussion—on a societal as well as individual level—about how to make 90 a better 90.'"

This is our goal with Croy Canyon Ranch—to address the realities of elder care and to make 90 a better 90! Another recent article in The New York Times stated, "According to the Pew Research Center, for the next 19 years, about 10,000 people 'will cross that threshold' every day—and many of them, whether through exercise or Botox, have no intention of ceding to others what they consider rightfully theirs: youth." The country's 79 million baby boomers, about 26 percent of the population, will be redefining what it means to be older, and placing greater demands on the social safety net. About 13 percent of the population today is 65 or older; by 2030, when the last of the baby boomers are 65, that rate will have grown to 18 percent.

The realities of dealing with facilities of care for this "youthful" group have not been well addressed. We are at the forefront, however, and this is what we are pursuing—a place that meets the need of the times for the baby boomers. It's right in front of us; it's getting more within reach as each new pledge comes in.

Every day there's another article about all of us growing older and how we want to do this. Past generations were never really given choices about this. We have the choice for an incredible option right here in the valley. How lucky we are! Every day someone asks me about Croy Canyon Ranch Continuing Care Community, and every day I see more opportunities for giving to this ever so important project.

Anita McCann is campaign cabinet chair of the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation.

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