Are we ‘Caring’ for Our elderly?

old-manThe forecast for the global care services market by 2022 is $1,012.02 billion. This is due in part to the consistent increase of the elderly population, more susceptible to chronic medical conditions. Most of this money is coming from insurance by Medicaid or Medicare. Figures for 2012 showed that almost 99% home health agencies, 100% hospice, and 96.5% nursing homes were Medicare certified.

With all this expense though, how satisfied are the elderly – and their loved ones who are often left navigating the system for them – with this care? For Joe Cardona who recently helped his elderly father with getting the right health care for dementia, in Florida, the answer would be very much dissatisfied. He felt like the personal touch was completely amiss: “from the moment you visit a facility or communicate with most healthcare providers, it will become abundantly clear that you and your loved one are nothing more than potential clients, not patients.”

From Cardona’s experiences a lot of these issues are due to the immense bureaucracy that he feels is more challenging in Miami and “particularly thorny and difficult to navigate.” He ultimately concludes from his experience with his now late father, “if a society is measured by how it cares for its most vulnerable, then we are an abject failure.”

Perhaps we need to start looking exactly at how “caring” all this money that is being spent, really ultimately is.