America’s population is growing older and living longer–with more complex and chronic health care needs than ever before. In fact, our senior population is expected to double in the coming decades, and the fastest growing segment of our population is people aged 85 and older—those who are most likely to need help maintaining their daily lives.
Much has been researched, written, and debated in recent years about what is wrong with long-term care for the elderly in America. But those discussions, which tend to focus on costs, data and institutional care, often leave out the most important component: real people–who are aging and need some assistance at home and in the community in order to maintain their health, well being, and independence.
How can local, state and national leaders address this challenge? Who is responsible for finding solutions and what role can communities play in making sure that people find the resources they need to stay healthy and maintain their independence as they age?