Vida R. Mobley
HCS 310/Health Care Delivery in the U.S.
“Everyone wants to get older, but no one wants to be old” so the saying goes. Many people approaching retirement age look forward to having more time and fewer responsibilities. Yet, they are afraid of becoming aimless and useless. They also fear isolation, unhappiness and diminishing health. What then, is the secret of a happy life? Good friends and a loving family help to bring happiness to young and old alike. However, what others contribute to an elderly person’s life is not all that counts. A long-term study of 423 elderly couples indicated, “making a contribution to the lives of other people …show more content…
The cost of providing long-term care, particularly institutional care, has increased dramatically. In the nation, long-term care has become a major component of the budget, with national public expenditures totaling $58 billion in 1996 (Burwell, 1996). About $2billion of the U.S.’s budget is allocated to long-term care. Combined with high costs is a criticism that the system of long-term care is biased towards delivering care in the Nursing home setting, despite older people’s documented preferences for in-home care. Keeping a family member at home who is in need of care raises a variety of concerns in addition to the basic logistics. It means trusting a stranger to have total and virtually unsupervised control over your family member. In an assisted-living facility, even if supervision is lax, there is some sense of accountability and oversight that is absent in a home care arrangement. Contacting with an agency might offer some of this oversight, but it would make the proposition very expensive, and even then, the supervision would be cursory at best, although the agency would provide some reassurance of backup services and prior screening. In addition to safety and freedom from abuse, there are also fears about …show more content…
Too many forces shape the current system to allow it to adapt, as it should. Unfortunately, long-term care is at a point where most people have little practice or experience. The problems will not get easier until the care gets better.
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