Demand for geriatrics healthcare research rise with the projected growth of the older population
By Sharlene Oong on Sep 4, 2018
From the East to the West, the population crisis is spreading all across the globe, from China to the United States. Medicaid expenditures in the U.S. are increasing, the workforce in Australia is shrinking due to population aging, and the exerting pressure on the young workforce to contribute enough personal income tax is on the rise. As China faces the effects of the one-child policy towards the demographics, these issues call for a common goal; advancing long-term supports and services (LTSS) for older adults.
“Long-term care (often also referred to as social care or aged care) consists of a mix of services to assist an impaired person to function in activities of daily living (ADL),” states Prof. Peter Yuen from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in his chapter, “ The Economics of Long-Term Care: Key Concepts and Major Financing and Delivery Models” from the publication Sustainable Health and Long-Term Care Solutions for an Aging Population. These daily living activities consist of: bathing, transferring, toileting, and dressing. Caring for an older adult also includes taking care of their incidental activities to daily living (IADLs), which include cooking, housekeeping, moving around, and managing personal finance. In order to provide care for the average older adult, the caretaker would need to invest time, energy and resources into the welfare of the patient.
The older adult population is expected to increase by 18 percent by 2020, and the rise in Medicaid expenditures is exerting pressure on the call to advance long-term supports and services (LTSS) by older adults. The U.S. is not the only one experiencing this increase, but the generations in countries all over the world are expected to “double in coming decades across the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), growing from 4 percent in 2010 to close to 10 percent by 2050,” states Prof. Yuen.
With the older population rapidly rising in the U.S., and in nations all across the globe, long-term care is singled out as the solution to the problem. According to Prof. Yuen, long-term care consists of services to assist an impaired person with daily living activities. These professional services are provided to the individual until they pass away. However, long-term care requires an extreme and varied amount of investments. Economists suggest new dimensions to the resource allocation pattern in reforming the long-term care system; financing and provision, according to Prof. Yuen.