The cost of care that the Baby Boomer generation will incur is a topic of growing concern to state governments. Although Medicare and Medicaid are national programs, they are administered by each state. This is why the Medicare and Medi-Cal laws here in California are different from similar programs in New York. Each state has different rules and regulations.
One of the constants is that Medicare only covers a small fraction of senior care costs. If an individual wants to qualify for Medicaid, there is a spend down of assets involved. By the time the person in need does qualify for Medicaid, almost all of their assets are gone. The unfortunate side effect of this is that there is often a severe decline in the quality of life that they experience. The number of choices left to them when it comes to care coverage are limited, too. A survey from Pew Charitable Trusts indicated that on the average, as the needs of the elderly individual increased, their options for care tended to decrease. That’s the exact opposite of what should happen!
States are looking to alternatives to the traditional model, not just to reduce costs, but to improve the quality of lives for their residents, too. It might seem like governments are slow to act or uncaring, but the whole purpose of government is, after all, to make life better for the people that they rule over. There is now a much higher emphasis on technology in senior care, such as wearable items that can track heart rate or alert the police if an emergency has occurred. Other states are utilizing in-home care much more heavily than ever before. Still others have insurance options that allow for family members to receive care training so that their older loved ones do not need to receive formalized care. These are all good starts, but a lot more is needed if our loved ones are going to continue to receive the best possible care for years to come.
It might feel like there is not too much you can do at the political level when it comes to helping improve senior care in your part of the world. However, that doesn’t mean that you are powerless. States can be slow to move, but in the meantime, there are things that you can do right now to help ensure that your parents have better care.
A lot of the responsibility does, ultimately, fall upon family members. Children or other younger family members can do a lot to help improve the quality of care that is received. Sometimes this means acting as a family caregiver, but not always. Sometimes it just entails speaking up as an advocate for your loved one. That can be as simple as researching and finding high quality care for them, or it can mean obtaining better technology or making changes to their home to keep them safer.
Let us know if we can help. Paradise In-Home Care is just a phone call away from halping your family plan for better care now.