Concept of Long-Term Care Paper

Concept of Long-Term Care Paper

HCS/437 – LONG-TERM CARE ADMINISTRATION

Concept of Long-Term Care Paper

The concept of long-term care can mean different things to different people. Most people consider long-term care something that only the elder members of society may need. However, the concept of long-term care truly just refers to “a continuum of medical and social services de- signed to support the needs of people living with chronic health problems that affect their ability to perform everyday activities” (McCall, n.d). When you add this definition to my prior knowledge of the concept of long-term care the readings this week have only added to but not changed the information that I already new about long-term care. My prior knowledge of long-term care allowed me to know that most long-term care is focused on care of the elderly however the people who have experienced physical or mental disabilities that are unable to care for themselves are also candidates for long-term care.

When looking at the current situation of long-term care we see that one major factor with the long-term care system is that there’s a shortage of providers available to service all of the patients that are currently in long-term care or will need long-term care in the future. According to report on the caregiver support ratio potential caregivers are projected to be 4:1 ration by the year 2030 versus a 7:1 ratio in the year 2010, and these numbers are only projected to increase as the generations progress (Kwak & Polivka, 2014). A potential way to solve this problem of the patient to caregiver ratio would be to provide incentives to potential individuals who are interested in going into the long-term care field. Whether those incentives be paying for education, a sign on bonus if you stay at a certain facility for a number of years, or another alternative it would be a way to get younger individuals working in the field thus eliminating the imbalanced and impractical provider to patient ratio.

The other factor that affects long-term care is the financing of the program. Currently long-term care programs are “funded by a disjointed array of private funding, Medicaid, and private long-term care insurance” (Calmus, 2013). Long-term care is expensive in “2003 the annual cost of a private room in a nursing home was more than $90,000” (Calmus, 2013), and most Americans don’t have that kind of cash laying around nor did they plan to need long-term care when they were younger so they rely on these programs to supplement the cost of their care. According to Calmus  (2013), ” Medicaid paid for 40% and Medicare pays for 22%, 37% of long-term care payments are made directly from the patient or their families, long term insurance picks up about 9% and the remaining 3% comes from other private sources”.

As noted above the majority of payments come from Medicaid therefore in all essence it’s funded by the taxpayer. When looking at a way to resolve this large use of Medicaid payments a solution would be that more private insurance companies offer long-term care as part of their services. This would increase the premium that an individual has to pay however it would be a possible solution to the current drain on the system. If the younger generation was more educated in regards to the potential cost of long-term care they could budget accordingly with their retirement thus providing them the financial stability they need in their later years.

Within my local communities there are many programs available to people who need long-term care in one form or another. These programs include things like community-based adult services/ adult day health care, health insurance counseling and advocacy programs, legal assistance, senior information and assistance programs, the supplemental nutrition assistance program-education(SNAP-Ed), and other supportive service programs. My community also oversees the long-term care ombudsmen program that is run through the state of California.

From the examples listed above three programs that operate within my local community that I have prior knowledge of include the legal assistance, the supplemental nutrition assistance program-education(SNAP-Ed), and the long-term care ombudsmen program. California Senior Legal Services Projects assist the state’s seniors and adults with disabilities with a variety of legal problems concerning housing, consumer fraud, elder abuse, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, Medi-Cal, age discrimination, pensions, nursing homes, protective services, conservatorships just to name a few. The legal assistance program is run through the California department of aging and should a person need their services and they can get in contact with a local agency of aging within their community that would provide the assistance.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (SNAP-Ed) administer education programs that promote nutrition and prevent obesity among the low income and older populations. The programs goal is to promote healthy eating habits as well as a physically active lifestyle educating them on how to maintain an appropriate calorie balanced meal. They also teach provide a means of getting nutritional foods to these populations how to make good dietary decisions for not only themselves but also their families. This program is not just limited to people who are part of a long-term care program but anyone who meets the state required guidelines is eligible to apply.

Lastly my community offers the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (OSLTCO) develops policy and provides oversight to the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs. This program is focus is to advocate for the rights of all residence within long-term care facilities. The ombudsman program investigates complaints made by or on the behalf of residence of facilities such as nursing homes, residential care facilities, and assisted living facilities. In this office also investigates cases of elder abuse complaints that have been made against long-term and residential care facilities.

My community has a lot of challenges when it comes to long-term care the two main factors of those challenges are the ratio of providers to patients, and the financial stresses that those patients incurred to get good quality care. However, my community also offers programs that assist in ensuring that the population of long-term care facilities are taken care of, we have programs in place to ensure that any legal hurdles that the residence of long-term care facilities come against they can get the answers. We offer nutrition assistance in classes to people who may not otherwise know how to nourish themselves adequately, the same program that teaches nutrition to these populations also assist them in the financial means to provide themselves with that nutritional content. The community also offers a way to report suspected miss treatment of the residence of long-term care facilities. These programs ultimately offer the community ways to support the long-term care population, whether it’s helping them report an issue about their safety, speaking to an attorney or legal counsel if it is something that charges need to be brought up on for even down to just making sure that they’re eating properly. My community goes a long way to support the population and though no system is perfect and no community is perfect we do the best we can to ensure that everyone within my commute it’s taken care of.

Reference:

Calmus, D. (2013). The Long-Term Care Financing Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.heritage.org/health-care-reform/report/the-long-term-care-financing-crisis

Kwak, J., & Polivka, L.J. (2014, July). The Future of Long-Term Care and the Aging Network. American Society on Aging,. Retrieved from http://www.asaging.org/blog/future-long-term-care-and-aging-network

McCall, N. (n.d). Long Term Care: Definition, Demand,Cost,andFinancing. American College of Healthcare Executives . Retrieved from http://www.ache.org/PUBS/1mccall.pdf

 State of California Department of Aging. (2015). Programs & Services. Retrieved from https://www.aging.ca.gov/Programs/#LTCOP