12 million Americans need long term care services, a number certain to grow as the nation ages. Who will provide those services and where will we get the dollars to cover the costs? Good questions.
In January 2013, Congress called for an effort to answer those questions by establishing the Commission on Long Term Care when it passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 to deal with the fiscal cliff.
The report issued by the Commission is the subject of your feature segment in this episode of the Senior Care Corner Show.
In our feature segment we discuss some background on the Commissioners, their mission and their process so we hope you’ll listen to get all our insights.
They gave the Commission 15 members and 6 months to recommend a plan that answers the questions. Was that enough or did they hand the Commission too big a challenge?
Well, the Commission released their report, which made solid recommendations regarding caregiving but was unable to come together on a financial solution.
In other words, big questions remain.
There are some great points we see in the report, which could make it a tool for raising awareness of long term care needs and especially the key role played by family caregivers.
- The value of unpaid long term care services provided by family caregivers far exceeds that provided by paid caregivers.
- Seniors with Alzheimer’s will need long term care services for more years than other seniors – and one in eight seniors has Alzheimer’s, with that climbing to 40% of those over 85.
- Without changes, the demand for caregivers will strain the supply. According to AARP, there are 7 potential caregivers for each adult 80+ years old today, a number that will fall to 4 for each one by 2030.
Commission on Long Term Care Recommendations
While the Commission was unable to agree on a full financial solution to meeting long term care needs, they did make a number of recommendations. These are a few of the key recommendations from the perspective of family caregivers.
- A specific strategy should be developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to recognize and help strengthen the role of family caregivers in long term care.
- Family caregivers should be integrated into the needs assessment and care planning processes.
- Technology should be used more effectively to share information among providers, the individuals receiving long term care and family caregivers.
- Along the lines of the emphasis on “caring for the caregiver” here at Senior Care Corner, the Commission calls for expansion of programs such as the provision of respite care for caregivers and other interventions that look address their needs.
Listen to this episode of the Senior Care Corner Show for more on the Commission on Long Term Care and its report, including insights into the less than overwhelming 9 to 6 vote that approved the report for release.
News Items in This Episode
- Omega-3s Tied to Lower Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Spinal Fluid Test May Aid Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease
- Depression with Diabetes May Speed Mental Decline
- US Nursing Homes Reducing Use of Antipsychotic Drugs
- Volunteerism May Lower Blood Pressure
All these and Kathy’s quick tip, “What to Do When Alzheimer’s Affects Sleep” in this episode of the Senior Care Corner Show.
Links Mentioned in This Episode
Learn this and more about all of these topics in this episode of the Senior Care Corner Show.
We hope you enjoy this episode and hope you find it informative. Do you have comments or suggestions about the show or topics you’d like to hear us cover? Please leave a comment and let us know.
Podcast Transcript – so you can follow along or read at your convenience