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Martha Stewart Talks about Senior Home Care Crisis

Posted Jan 22 2010 11:43am

Health care reform is all the buzz, but is enough focus placed on creative solutions for senior care (home care in particular) and the need for more geriatric physicians? According to a recent post by Martha Stewart, the real health care crisis is the upcoming “silver tsunami” which is about to hit us as the first 78 million baby boomers will turn 65 in 2011.

The senior population places the greatest burden on our health care costs, yet we have relatively few doctors skilled in how to properly care for them. In fact, we have three times as many plastic surgeons as we do geriatricians. Apparently Americans feel it is better to look good than feel good.

Stewart goes on to say that the increasing number of seniors is putting a real burden on their family and friends. Approximately 75% of seniors who need long term care are receiving this care at home from friends and relatives.  These informal caregivers, who are mostly women, average 19 hours per week as caregivers, often on top of full time jobs and caring for their family.  According to Stewart, “There is an urgent need for innovative ideas and new paradigms – and no quick fixes.”

Home care is the solution for many, but needs to be done differently than in the past. Home care agencies need to take into account the social aspects of a senior’s life and place value on that. They must do this while keeping cost down so that as many seniors as possible can continue living independently at home in a safe environment.

Martha Stewart’s article was in the January 20th issue of the Huffington Post and can be read in its entirety here.

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