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Is a Long-Term Care System Worth The Financial Plunge?

Demand for geriatrics healthcare research rise with the projected growth of the older population

By Sharlene Oong on Sep 4, 2018

Capture2From 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.

Strategies that can streamline the positive aging process were analyzed by Prof. Pratima Kaushik from Amity University, author of the chapter “Promoting Successful Positive Aging Across the Health Continuum: A Holistic Approach” from the publication Handbook of Research on Geriatric Health, Treatment, and Care. Healthcare providers can take into account interventions such as: Capture3

  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Staying connected
  • Keeping the brain active
  • Engaging in physical activity
  • Having regular medical checkups
  • Fall risk interventions
  • And many other strategies.

Using these techniques can help older adults prevent health risks and encourage a successful aging process. Individuals who engage in productive activities with a type of labor involvement will usually have a more pleasing lifestyle. “It encourages individuals to accept responsibility for maintenance of health and economic activity so that older individuals may remain independent, thereby reducing the demand on health and social services,” states Prof. Kaushik. Prof. Kaushik and Prof. Yuen’s research are just a few examples of how healthcare providers can accommodate the needs of the older population.

This population crisis singles out the benefits of having a multi-generational workforce to contribute to the diversity of the overall organization. In the long run, financial, societal, and economic issues will rise in the long-term health care system, unless strategies and steps are taken to implement change and secure the wellbeing of the greater population. With consistent strategies and implementations in long-term policies, investing resources and time into the long-term care will enable the longevity of the older population.

Published By-
Balani Infotech Pvt. Ltd.

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