Trends in Long-Term Care and Associated Implications

explanatory Essay
1651 words
1651 words

Long-term care (LTC) covers a wide range of clinical and social services for those who need assistance due to functional limitations. These limitations usually result from complications associated with age related chronic conditions, from disabilities related to birth defects, brain damage, or mental retardation in children; or from major illnesses or injuries suffered by adults (Shi L. & Singh D.A., 2011). LTC encompasses a variety of services including traditional clinical services, social services and housing. Unlike acute care, long-term care is much more complicated and has objectives that are much harder to measure. Acute care mainly focuses on returning patients to their previous functional level and is primarily provided by specialty providers. However, LTC mainly focuses on preventing the physical and mental deterioration of an individual and promoting social adjustments to suit the different stages of decline. In addition the providers of LTC are more diverse than those in acute care and is offered in both formal and informal settings, which include: hospitals, physicians, home care, adult day care, nursing home care, assisted living and even informal caregivers such as friends and family members. Long-term care services have been dominated by community based services, which include informal care (86%, about 10 to 11 million) and formal institutional care delivered in nursing facilities (14%, 1.6 million) (McCall, 2001). Of more than the 10 million Americans estimated to require LTC services, 58% are elderly and 42% are under the age of 65 (Shi L. & Singh D.A., 2011). The users of LTC are either frail elderly or disabled and because of the specific care needs of this population, the care varies based on an indiv... ... middle of paper ... ... Aging Services. Nelda McCall (2001). Long Term Care: Definition, Demand, Cost, and Financing. Chicago: Health Administration Press, pg. 19. Nelson, Bill (2013). The Senate Special Committee on Aging: The Future of Long-Term Care Policy: Continuing the Conversation. Shi L. & Singh D.A. (2011). The Nation’s Health. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Stone, R.I & Wiener, J. M. (2001). Who Will Care For Us? Addressing the Long-Term Care Workforce Crisis. The Urban Institute. United Hospital Fund (2013). New York’s Nursing Homes: Shifting Roles and New Challenges. Medicaid Institute at United Hospital Fund. University of California (2006). An Aging U.S. Population and the Health Care Workforce: Factors Affecting the Need for Geriatric Care Workers. University of California, San Francisco, Center for California Health Workforce Studies.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that long-term care covers a wide range of clinical and social services for those who need assistance due to functional limitations.
  • Explains that the population of disabled individuals has substantially increased over the past decade due to advances in medical care that have led to a decline in mortality and better quality of life.
  • Explains that the frail elderly represent older individuals with multiple comorbidities who require assistance with activities of daily living due to mental and/or physical deterioration.
  • Explains that ltc services are costly and inevitable, but there is a substantial lack of individual planning and saving for the procurement of services.
  • Explains that the average retirement savings is approximately $75,000, but a single year of nursing home care can cost over $80,000, and social security is only sufficient to provide income for basic living expenses.
  • Explains that nursing homes are a major component of the ltc system, but they have recently demonstrated slow rate of growth and low occupancy rates. the number of beds in assisted living has increased 97% in the last twelve years.
  • Explains that age-in-place organizations give the frail elderly the ability to join communities with mechanisms that provide support service. new care settings that are well integrated into government funded services/programs are crucial for directing cost savings.
  • Explains that the number of nursing home admissions from hospitals increased from 83% in 1996 to about 90 % in 2010.
  • Cites calmus, d. the long-term care financing crisis, the heritage foundation, center for policy innovation discussion paper, #7.
  • Cites chernof, b., and warshawsky, m. (2013). commission on long-term care before the u.s. senate special committee on aging.
  • Cites the institute for the future of aging services (2007), the long-term care workforce: can the crisis be fixed?
  • Describes nelda mccall's long term care: definition, demand, cost, and financing.
  • States nelson, bill, the senate special committee on aging: the future of long-term care policy: continuing the conversation.
  • Explains shi l. & singh d.a. (2011). the nation’s health.
  • Describes stone, r.i., and wiener, j.m. (2001). who will care for us?
  • Cites united hospital fund (2013), new york’s nursing homes: shifting roles and new challenges.
  • Cites the university of california (2006), an aging u.s. population and the health care workforce: factors affecting the need for geriatric care workers.
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