Without much fanfare, the Senate Special Committee on Aging released a report earlier this month on the subject of how the U.S. is progressing in caring for older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The committee compared health-care infrastructure with that of Japan, Australia, France and the United Kingdom – countries chosen because they have demographics and economies similar to ours.Shutterstock.com
The report found that these countries were all ahead of us on the Alzheimer’s care front. But as Judith Graham points out in a sharply observed piece today on the New Old Age blog, the study also unearthed statistics that suggest that long-term care for America’s elderly in general is lagging behind the rest of the world’s standards.
About 6.5% of Americans over 65 are receiving long-term care; the average for industrialized nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is 12.2%. Of those who do get such care, Americans are significantly more likely to be getting it in nursing homes, rather than at home. And America’s “informal caregivers” – read: spouses, kids and other relatives – are far more likely to spend 10 hours or more per week helping the elderly than their counterparts in other countries. Graham’s pithy conclusion: “Other countries with which the United States is closely aligned have embraced long-term care as an essential social responsibility, while we have not.”
Kira Kim says
Hello, I am an AGNG 320 student at the Erickson School of Aging. The topic of this blog especially interested to me because it overlaps with what I learned this week. This week I read chapters on long-term care, and sadly Americans seem to be ended up with nurshing homes. One of the interesting thing I’ve learn about the nurshing home is that there are monthly memorial services to recognize residents who died since the death in nursing home is evolving. I hope U.S. can catch up on the percentage of receiving long-term care compare to other countries.
Hello, I am an Aging 320 student in the Erikson School of Aging and when it comes to Alzheimer’s care in the aging population one would hope that the US, a developed country would be far ahead in ensuring the best for those with the disease. However America is lagging behind in this front and it is also behind on long-term care for older adults as well. These trends reveal how America needs to start implementing changes and renovations into its current public health plan when it comes to the aging population. There are several programs and interventions that can be put into place to help better care communities and their treatment of the residents within their facilities. Being aware and mindful of the fact that there is always room for improvement and change in these facilities regardless of how well a facility is doing. Educating workers and loved ones is one of the main important steps in bettering the care process of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and residing in long term care facilities. Seeking new interventions and ways to remodel the current plan will help long term care as well Alzheimer’s and dementia care in the future.
C. Burke says
I am an AGNG 320 student at the Erickson School of Aging and this topic is very interesting to me. I feel like a lot of countries are always ahead of us when it comes to a lot things, but long-term care makes me kind of sad. I feel like we as a county do not put in enough effort or time to make our elderly community feel appreciated and loved. We put funding for long-term care on the back burner until it’s too late which then leads to us putting our loved ones in nursing homes. I think we should spend more time with them instead of just pushing them to the side.