This fall, Senior List co-founder Amie Clark was interviewed by First Choice In-Home Care. They publish an “Expert Interview Series” and wanted to discuss long-term care issues for aging Americans. Here are a few excerpts and thoughts from that discussion. Jump to the link at the bottom to be redirected to the entire interview.
Question: What lessons have you learned from your 12 years in the senior housing arena?
Amie: “I worked as a senior placement specialist for 12 years and my takeaway from that experience is this: Do NOT wait until a crisis to start the search for senior housing. Making decisions under pressure is never a good idea, and certainly not in this case. I urge families to start the research early so that if/when the time comes, the groundwork has been done and the process will be much less laborious.”
Question: What would you change about how seniors are cared for in the U.S.?
Amie: “So many things, but personally, I’d start with Medicare and bridge the gap of coverage. Medicare doesn’t cover any long-term care, so people are left to pay for senior housing out of their own pockets to the tune of $3,000-$6,000/ month for assisted living, as an example. For those who can’t afford these prices, Medicaid eventually kicks in, which is funded by tax dollars.
I’d like to see more coverage for people to stay in their own homes. Whether it be in-home care, sensors to detect falls or telehealth solutions (to name a few). I personally believe we would save money at the state and federal level by helping seniors remain in their homes versus paying for assisted living and nursing facilities as the default approach.”
Question: What are some of the trends you are following right now?
Amie: “I have had my eye on co-housing and shared housing for some time. Due to the high cost of senior care, I believe the trends we are seeing where people (especially older women) share the costs of housing and care will continue to rise. There is also a movement toward purposeful planning within communities to care for those who will need assistance in the future. I believe these coordinated networks will continue to rise in number. One great example is Eastside Village PDX if you want to check out this model.”
There is much more to the Q and A session. To READ MORE, click —> Amie Clark Interview: Long-Term Care Issues In America