Bipartisan Report, "Healthy Aging Begins at Home,"Urges Gov. to Address Senior Challenges
BrightStar Care Evanston is neither a Republican nor Democratic organization, but we always cast a vote for the value of in-home care. A bipartisan task force agrees.
In November of 2016, the BCP's Senior Health and Housing Task Force (catchily nick-named the BCPSHHTF), urged the government to address the housing challenges and associated health implications faced by seniors in this country.
The report's title is really a synopsis of their findings: "Healthy Living Begins at Home." Among other eye-opening stats in the report are these:
- There are 47.8 million seniors in the U.S. and that number will almost double to 87.9 million by 2050
- People over 85 are the largest growing group (are they party people? Perhaps in a couple senses of the word)
- 88% of seniors said they would like to stay in their current residence
The force was not taken to task for reporting the following challenges we all will face, whether senior or not:
- The vast majority of us (you out there reading this, too) will suffer from a least one chronic health condition and 70% of us will need long-term assistance. This includes ADL's -- Acts of Daily Living like bathing, dressing, help with eating, etc.
- There is a lack of affordable housing for seniors. Housing remains the single largest expense for seniors and not many seniors have saved enough for housing and healthcare costs. It's hard to accept that anyone would have to choose between the two.
So What Can We Elect to do?
"Build more affordable, age-friendly housing for seniors," recommends the task force. The report calls for the establishment of a new senior housing program and tax policies that favor the building of more low-income housing.
"Support assistance for home modifications" that make residences safer and more senior-friendly. The force is also with the creation of more "mother-in-law-type" structures.
"Take an interdisciplinary approach to senior housing." This would include urban planning, transportation and architectural design. Much to BrightStar Care Evanston's interest (and delight), the task force highly recommended the integration of senior housing and healthcare which would allow seniors to receive care in their home. The task force recognizes that a senior's home is an important factor in their sustained health.
This is something we have direct experience of and know in our BrightStar Care Evanston hearts: When it comes to comfortability, healing space and emotional and physical well-being, "home is where the health is."
"Increase the implementation of technologies that support senior wellness." This sounds scary-technical, but the task force is talking about cool and helpful technologies like fall-monitoring systems, memory-support technologies and increased use of Internet access and training. "The idea is to encourage seniors to use social networking to take advantage of wellness opportunities" concluded the report.
Can it Pay for Itself?
There's a bipartisan recognition that all this will cost money, but the task force does point out that "care provided at home is much less costly than nursing home care." The Task Force reported that one-third of all seniors fall each year (ouch!), resulting in a $34 billion in healthcare costs. Imagine the injuries avoided and potential savings of some kind of fall monitor device.
These ideas seem to gain support across people and parties, perhaps because we all face the age-old challenges of aging. At BrightStar Care Evanston we say, stick with us for home care of all kinds and we'll do our best to keep you young (at least at heart).
Visit the Bipartisan Policy Center website to discover more about the task force and to read the complete Healthy Aging Begins at Home report.
Finally, let us visit you with NO CHARGE FOR A HOME CONSULTATION.
Contact our Northbrook BrightStar office at (847) 510-5750 today!