2022 Current Issues

According to Wellman Shew, the percentage of older Americans is rapidly increasing and will continue to rise throughout the twenty-first century. This will have a significant impact on health-care delivery. By 2065, 80 percent of American adults will be 65 or older, and more than a quarter of these people will require assistance with daily activities. Currently, 6.4 million people in this age group require some form of long-term care. In addition, one in every two people over the age of 85 will require long-term care in their later years. One article in the special issue of JAMDA looks at the long-term care industry's future, specifically payment and regulation. It considers issues of equity, access to care, and resource allocation. It also proposes a federal long-term care benefit, addressing concerns about trade-offs and identifying new ways to improve senior care quality. The regulation article advocates for more single-occupancy rooms with larger living areas.

The development of natural retirement communities is another significant innovation in long-term care. These communities are being built to meet the needs of the aging population in the future. However, the success of healthcare reform and the implementation of universal long-term care insurance will also determine the future of long-term care. Meanwhile, Medicare and Medicaid cuts may have an impact on long-term care costs. Furthermore, the success of the national long-term care insurance plan is critical to the future of healthcare reform.

The private sector is currently struggling to generate significant interest in long-term care. Incentives from the state have also been ineffective in increasing enrollment. These state-sponsored programs enable people to use their assets to pay for long-term care. However, as the number of people who require long-term care grows, these programs may be difficult to sell. Fortunately, there is a workable solution. The number of people requiring daily assistance is expected to double by 2065, from seven to fourteen million.

 Wellman Shew pointed out that The authors investigated a wide range of factors influencing the future of long-term care and the quality of available care services. Many demonstration projects have been carried out across the United States to put these new approaches to the test. Another promising strategy is to use new technologies and funding schemes to improve quality and reduce costs. The authors also discuss innovative technologies for extending life expectancy, which provides older people with a higher quality of life.

While these studies will help to improve the quality of long-term care, the implementation of a national long-term care insurance program will be a more significant change. The amount of money available to fund this program would grow by 2050, reducing the need for private long-term care insurance and Medicaid programs. By 2050, more than half of long-term care program funding would go toward paying for additional paid LTSS. In addition, the program would fund additional paid and unpaid caregivers.

While long-term care providers can assist people in maintaining their independence, it is critical to stay focused on the changing landscape and address demographic trends that will impact the industry. As the Baby Boom generation ages, the number of people who need this type of care will grow exponentially. While the number of older Americans is increasing, some states continue to fall short of meeting the demand. The oldest baby boomers are expected to reach the age of 85 by 2031, more than doubling the demand for long-term care.

While a federal long-term care plan is unlikely to replace the CLASS Act, it is an important first step toward addressing the crisis. The provisions for a national long-term care insurance program are included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the CLASS Act was never fully implemented by the Obama administration, and it was repealed by Congress in 2013.

In Wellman Shew’s opinion,many countries' social norms have shifted rapidly. In the United States, for example, 38.2 percent of elderly people lived with adult children in 2008. By 2016, this figure had risen to 57.1 percent. Despite the dramatic change, many long-term care workers are leaving their jobs due to low pay, long hours, and COVID exposure. Because of this ongoing staffing issue, three-quarters of Minnesota's long-term care facilities have limited admissions.