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Alternatives to Nursing Home


Stashed in: Awesome, America!, Aging, Social Solutions, Retirement, Aging, Retirement

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Fantastic article about mobilizing networks of elderly people and neighboring volunteers to help themselves with the everything from visiting museums together to being a final wake-up call that you really do need to go to a nursing home now. Critical for the future of America.

It's a fascinating shift in thinking to expect that in the future because of assisted living costs, people will be expected to stay at home.

By 2050, one-fifth of the total U.S. population—about 88 million people—will be 65 and older. Many of them won’t have saved enough money for an assisted living or retirement community. Some low-income seniors may be able to get Medicaid to pay for nursing home costs, but states and local government budgets will have a hard time handling the crunch, and besides, many of the places that take Medicaid are under-staffed and run-down. Many aging people will not find them to their liking.

These are all reasons why an increasing number of people are saying that seniors should stay at home as they age. This change could save the nation billions of dollars—one study found that the median monthly payment for non-institutional long-term care was $928 compared to $5,423 for nursing homes. But shifting seniors to aging at home is going to require a much bigger commitment on the part of everyday Americans—like the Domino’s woman—to pitch in and help their aging neighbors thrive. It’s going to require neighbors to check in on one another all the time; it's going to require college students to provide care to the aged and infirm; it's going to require that everyone thinks more about the elderly people around them, and volunteer to take them grocery shopping or shuttle them to a doctor's appointment. (Yes, including you.)

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