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Local Seniors Experts Identify Long-Term Services and Support as Critical for Region’s Isolated Older Adults

• Growing older adult population signals need for improved Long-Term Services and Supports systems
• Experts at San Diego Seniors Community Foundation available to discuss current state of services and support systems
• High-level analysis reveals advantages of upgrading at-home care

San Diego CA— Released in September 2020, The Scorecard, revealed the advantage of bringing a greater level of Long-Term Services and Supports to older people and people with disabilities within their homes as opposed to costlier institutional settings. Experts at San Diego Seniors Community Foundation concur with The Scorecard’s findings and are available to discuss why creating a high-performing Long-Term Services and Supports system in San Diego, and throughout California, is critical for the growing older population.

Long-Terms Services and Supports includes care and support services in both institutional care settings and within the homes of older adults. Examples include help with personal care, medication management, home care, and transportation. The national Scorecard offers policy ideas and best practices that can help states achieve high performance in their systems moving forward.

SDSCF’s analysis of The Scorecard report comes at a critical time as policy makers and stakeholders are beginning to produce blueprints to tackle many of the challenges that will grow in intensity over the coming years; for instance, the state’s Master Plan for Aging.

SDSCF’S HIGH LEVEL ANALYSIS:

  • Despite likelihood that more than half of Americans will need Long-Term Services and Supports at some point in their lives, only 4% of California adults ages 40 and older purchase Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI).
  • The cost of nursing home care is unaffordable for middle-income Americans in every state. The average annual per-person cost of nursing home care is more than $100,000 a year in a private room, about 2.5 times the typical income for an older family.
  • Home care services continue to be much more cost-effective than nursing home care for individuals and families. On average, the annual per-person cost of home care is roughly $35,000 a year (for 30 hours of weekly care at $23 per hour).
  • Supporting family caregivers also has economic benefits. Most of the 41 million family caregivers in the United States have jobs outside the home. A strong Long-Term Services and Supports system is critical to making sure those caregivers can continue to fully participate in the workforce and contribute to the economy.

Experts at SDSCF applaud the work underway to improve quality of life for older adults, but more resources and policy interventions are needed. Efforts like The Scorecard and the state’s Master Plan for Aging exemplify the leadership needed to prepare for the unprecedented demographic shift. Here in San Diego, SDSCF sees many synergies between the state’s plan, The Scorecard, and its own initiatives. Examples include a soon-to-be released master vision plan on the role well-supported senior centers can play in realizing the ideals of the master plan, and its initiative combating the epidemic of social isolation.