Care for the Elderly

Topics: Geriatrics, Gerontology, Old age Pages: 3 (1089 words) Published: October 2, 2013
Care for the Elderly

The greatest challenge for health care is for the Elderly. The elderly population has been rising steadily for the past few decades. The elderly population is usually defined as people aged 65 years or above. However, a longer life span in the elderly population brings along poorer health. This involves an increased demand for health care services for elderly people. About two-thirds of the elderly population has limited or no monthly income and this generation will have to bear the burden of financing the provision of health care services for the elderly. Long-term care services for the elderly represent a significant share of total health care spending and an area of increasing concern for legislatures.

Nursing home and home health care counts for almost 15 percent of personal health expenditures in 1995, and were approximately 14 percent of all state and local health care spending. Neither private insurance nor Medicare covers long-term care to any major extent, and less than 5 percent of older adults have private long-term care insurance. “Medicaid is the main source of public financing for long-term care for the elderly, and expenditures are projected to more than double in inflation-adjusted dollars between 1993 and 2018 due to the aging of the population and to price increases in excess of general inflation”(American Health Care, 1997). In order to be eligible for Medicaid in nursing homes, single individuals must have less than $2,000 in non housing assets and all of their income must go toward the cost of their care, except for a small personal needs allowance generally $30 a month (Weiner, Hanley & Harris, 1994). Many of the nursing homes provide excellent care; however, far too many of them do not. Understaffed, underpaid and poorly trained employees make many nursing homes push the bottom line so far that they endanger the lives of their patients. Abused, neglected and defenseless, some nursing home residents may...

Cited: Alliance for Aging Research. (2008). Crisis of Age Requires Cure. Retrieved May 19, 2008 from
American Health Care Association. (1997). Facts and Trends: The Nursing Facility Sourcebook, Washington, D.C.: American Health Care Association.
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy. (1994). Cost Estimates for the Long-Term Care Provisions under the Health Security Act. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Traxler, A. J. (1980). Let 's get Gerontologized: Developing sensitivity to aging: The multi-purpose senior center concept: A training manual for practitioners working with the aging. Springfield, IL: Illinois Department of Aging.
Wiener, J., Hanley, R., and Harris, K. (1994). The Economic Status of Elderly Nursing Home Users Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution.
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