The healthcare industry is lacking a centralized, community-based resource that can easily direct families to long-term care services and support when the time arises, according to three prominent industry experts.
“The lack of such a centralized access point to long-term care is a gaping hole in our health and long-term care infrastructure. What’s needed is new infrastructure to support the growing population of older adults who require a variety of services and supports to remain in the community,” wrote ATI Advisory founder and CEO Anne Tumlinson, Harvard healthcare policy expert David Grabowski, Ph.D., and Nexus Insights founder Robert Kramer in an op-ed late last week.
The three argued that families of seniors oftentimes have no place to turn when they need help navigating and accessing long-term care services. That lack of help creates an unsustainable crisis for families who are forced to create and manage care networks on their own when an emergency happens.
They suggested families should be able to find resources and guidance that can steer them toward the “solutions that best meet their financial, care and social needs.”
“This infrastructure could include a network of community-based healthy aging hubs across the country where families can go for resources, support and advice — a one-stop shop for ongoing services and support needs,” Tumlinson, Grabowski and Kramer wrote. “These hubs could be staffed with professionals who are trained to guide families through the process of finding and navigating care options for their loved ones.”
They added the centers would work independently through public investment and a public-private partnership for operating expenses. That would mean the proposed infrastructure would support seniors and their families, regardless of income, to connect them with existing resources.
“We need to create a network of long-term care service hubs across the country,” they concluded. “Without this new infrastructure, families will still have nowhere to turn in a crisis — even when there may be resources out there that could help them.”