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The Big Business of America’s Graying Population

The business of caring for the elderly is growing, as Americans’ busy lives and distant locations make it tougher to take on the hands-on care often needed for loved ones.

93-year old Marita Lynch is getting a visit from Nancy Avitabile of Urban Eldercare. She is part of a growing army of care managers doing everything from making sure patients get the medical care needed to – well- manicures.

<blockquote>”Has Anna Jimenez been here lately to see you, Anna the one who takes care of your nails – good – well they look nice?”</blockquote>

The number of care giving families – those responsible for caring for the elderly, will just about double in the next eight years, according to the National Association for Geriatric Care Managers.

Navigating the health care world has become more complicated – and many cannot afford to take time off from work – or live far away, and cannot provide the daily hands-on care often needed.

Avitabile explains:

<blockquote>”They are very busy and they have jobs, so you know during their day they don’t want to field ten calls from a home care worker, so they would have me do that and then when they have their visit with their mother or their father it can be a real visit that focuses more on the relationship.”</blockquote>

In Marita’s case, Jack McCaffrey, a long time family friend, who has Power of Attorney, essentially he manages her financial affairs. But he lives an hour away with his wife and so he brought in Avitabile.

He says, “I would be coming in here daily almost to do things that Nancy can do by being on site.”

Avitabile keeps track of the caregivers that are in the home, making sure they have what they need to take care of Marita including petty cash for groceries, and being the point person should anything happen.

<blockquote>”If there is an emergency, if the home care aide has a question, if the aide can’t get in touch with the doctor, if something goes wrong in the apartment I mean even if a pipe bursts they can call me and I can kind of help them figure out how to manage the situation.”</blockquote>

And when Jack comes to visit,  he can focus on spending precious time with his dear friend Marita.