The Concept of Long-Term Care Reflection

The Concept of Long-Term Care Reflection

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The Concept of Long-Term Care Reflection

The concept of long-term care (LCT) has changed my perspective of how the services of long-term care are provided more than exclusively to the elderly, but for any individual that is needed for the services provided through long-term care. These services offered are a wide range for individuals with different conditions that relate trauma, chronic illness, or chronic diseases. Long-term care is used for individuals that are not capable of carrying out their daily activities on their own. The need for long-term care has three principal circumstances which are to aid with the needy of a daily task, continuity of care after hospitalization and care in specialized environments for a patient. Currently, LTC in the United States is facing a crisis. Financial and economic turmoil plagues LTC on individuals which brings awareness to all.

Current events of Long-term Care

The Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act was a federal law that created voluntary and public long-term care insurance and has been suspended under the Obama Administration (Calmus, 2013). This act would have established a national insurance trust with potential daily cash benefit depending on the individuals level of disability (Calmus, 2013). Also, reducing government spending because the individuals are receiving benefits under the CLASS Act that they could have received under Medicaid. Ultimately, resulting in a financial and organizational crisis for LTC in the United States. The current system is already not meeting the needs of those elderly and disabled individuals in LTC with the aging population overgrowing due to the large baby-boom generation.

It has been estimated that in just a few short years, as the population of baby boomers retires, LTC of the elderly will become a national crisis. In fact, it’s estimated that 70 percent of Americans who reach the age of 65 will need some kind of LTC for at least three years during their lifetime. The fear is that if these issues are not addressed, the day may come when all these folks needing LTC could collapse the Medicaid system (Bowser, 2013). The risk is out there, and the issue needs to be brought to the forefront because Americans are now and have been for decades, spending down their savings on LTC to then qualify for Medicaid to pick up the cost of LTC needs.

Increasing awareness of LTC is pivotal in the sustainability of government spending now and in the future, as well as ensuring enough staff and resources are available for the rapidly growing elderly population (Bowser, 2013). Since the repeal of the CLASS Act, the public needs awareness of the dangers of unstable financing of LTC. Reforming the health spending to allow another program to help relieve the burden of Medicaid will compensate for the growing population.

Long-term Care Populations in My Community

The CSRA Area Agency on Aging, Pendley Personal Care Home Assisted Living, and the Golden Living Community of Augusta are three prestige long-term care communities offering services, advocacy, and education on the elderly and disabled population needing LTC. Located in the downtown Augusta area, servicing 13 Central Savannah River Area counties, the CSRA Regional Commission is a program under the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services that serves as the regional planning agency and provides services deemed appropriate for the aging such as improved living conditions, creating and retaining jobs, and protect access, both economically and recreationally. Its mission is to assist older adults, persons with disabilities, their families, and caregivers to maintain dignity and independence in their communities. Also located here is Pendley Personal Care Home Assisted living which is a premier Veterans home in my neighborhood. It houses live in medical staff that provides medical assistance, daily meals and snakes, laundry, room cleaning, activities, and some transportation to Doctor visits. They also do Friday night outings for dinner and outings for lunch with a senior center a few blocks away.

The third prestige assisted living community in my area is the Golden Living Community of Augusta. At this facility, they understand how important it is to maintain as much independence as possible. Their spacious assisted living suites allow their residents to receive a little help with daily activities while still maintaining the active lifestyles they love. They also offer a variety of activities, including arts and crafts, spiritual services, bingo and summer cook-outs. If skilled nursing care is ever needed, they are located right next door to Golden Living Center – Augusta where residents may receive services such as physical, speech and occupational therapy. What geared my attention towards this assisted living facility is they offer specialized services for short-term care, Dementia and Alzheimer’s care, long-term care and discharge planning. Most facilities do not provide all of these services because of the amount of care and individual attention some of the patients may require.

Before this week’s learnings, I was unaware of the long-term care populations evident in my local community. Learning that long-term care is a range of services and support for your personal care needs that are not always particularly medical needs was an eye-opener. Most LTC is helped with the basic personal task of everyday life, sometimes called activity of daily living. Interesting to find that Medicare doesn’t cover LTC but acute care when needed, however, most the financial responsibility falls upon Medicaid and private insurance. Many different programs speak up for LTC facilities and many facilities both home-based and community living in my local community.

Conclusion

This week’s readings changed my perception of long-term care. I’ve learned its more than just for the elderly but for all disabled individuals not able to carry out their daily activities on their own. The current crisis in LTC also needs to be addressed so that the economy will not suffer when the aging population began to need LTC. Americans should be encouraged to look into private insurance that covers LTC to reduce the burden from Medicaid. Health care reform is a huge problem in the United States, citing the spending of government funds. With the baby boom generation in the mist of needing LTC services, the change should be now rather than later. The CLASS Act was a great initiative but not put into play because all did not agree to another insurer to help pay for LTC. There’s a crisis with LTC that needs to be addressed because, at some point in everyone’s life, they will need long-term care.

References

Bowser, B.A. (2103, March). Why Long-Term Care for U.S. Seniors is Headed for Crisis. PBS News Hour. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/americas-looming-long-term-care-crisis-and-what-can-be-done.

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