Growth In Elderly Population Spurs Concerns About Lack Of Caregivers And Services
The Wall Street Journal and New York Times offer articles analyzing the challenges seniors face.
The Wall Street Journal:
Communities Struggle To Care For Elderly, Alone At Home
More elderly across the nation are aging at home for a variety of reasons: they prefer to and are healthy enough to stay; they can’t afford other options such as assisted living; and states in some cases have imposed policies to limit nursing home stays paid for by Medicaid, which is a major funder of long-term institutional health care for older Americans. But aging in place is proving difficult in places where the population is growing older, supportive services are scarce, houses are in disrepair and younger people who can assist have moved away. As a result, elderly people who live at home are having to rely more on neighbors—who sometimes are elderly, too—and local nonprofits and public agencies are starting to feel the strain from increasing requests for help. (Levitz, 9/25)
The New York Times:
The Fragile Patchwork Of Care For New York’s Oldest Old
The story of America's aging population is to a great extent the story of people like Ms. Kornblum, one in which friends or family members step in to provide informal care, usually without training, and at great expense in terms of personal time and money. According to the Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, unpaid caregivers provide 90 percent of long-term care for the old or disabled. Like old age itself, the job arrives unbidden and with little in the way of guidance, to be managed more than mastered. Mr. Sorensen’s fall and the events leading up to it show how tenuous such care can be. (Leland, 9/25)