In my last post, I talked about the National Aging in Place Council annual meeting and some of the findings presented there, including some excellent work from the folks at Georgia Tech.
There are a number of “possible solutions” – or, in some cases, the lack of solutions – also presented, in a variety of areas, including:
- Personal Finance. This is a very big deal for seniors and those folks headed in that direction. While there was some discussion of financial planning, including the use of reverse mortgages, one of the most critical points made is one I have been pounding the table about for years. That is, Medicare (and other medical insurance payers) do not cover the support of Activities of Daily Living (non-clinical home care) that many elders require. That puts their financial resources under severe strain, often even forcing folks out of their home into facilities. It even leads to game playing (legal or not) with assets, to qualify mom or dad for Medicaid. Until Medicare, Kaiser, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, … wake up and start to pay some of the costs of non-clinical home care (as a true part of our healthcare system) the situation will only get worse.
- Home Modification. A presentation from HomeAdvisor highlighted some of the critical mods made by many folks either currently or planning for aging in place:
- 75% added grab bars
- 64% added a ramp to their entrance
- 44% increased the widths of their doorways
- 33% added a bathroom on the main floor
- 30% added lever-handled doorknobs
- 29% changed flooring to prevent injuries
- 19% shifted the bedroom to the first floor
- 10% lowered electrical switches
There was also considerable discussion of the need to meet with and influence local officials – elected and otherwise – about the issues facing the elderly trying to age in place. I could not agree more, but most of the pressure on those local officials needs to be upward, getting them to go up the ladder to the next level and the next level to affect medical insurers – including Medicare – and the executive and legislative branches at the federal level.
Your thoughts on all this?
By the way, check out the planning tool from NAIPC:
Best wishes. Bert