As the global population lives longer, planning to accommodate and care for the elderly population is becoming a more pressing issue. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has highlighted just how ill-equipped the current U.S. infrastructure is to provide health services and support to the growing elderly population.
The impacts of this population diversity are far-reaching. For example, homecare jobs will likely continue to expand and begin offering more specialized caregiving options at home and remotely.
How do you anticipate when and how to spend your healthcare savings amid this shifting long-term healthcare landscape? For now, a few practical steps can help you and your loved ones prepare to face the future.
Start saving early
You or your family members may already contribute to retirement savings accounts or plan to start soon. The earlier you begin saving, the more you and your loved ones can rely on those accounts later.
As life expectancy lengthens, so does long-term care and services cost across those extra years. Homecare jobs, already in high demand, will likely rise in price as the industry expands.
Create a long-term strategic plan
Quality healthcare isn’t cheap, but homecare jobs provide a financial incentive for many individuals to postpone or avoid entering a full-service facility.
Look into the exception clauses on your insurance policies now to ensure that your coverage does not exclude certain homecare jobs or care facilities. Request specific quotes from facilities and homecare organizations to begin planning exactly how much you will need to contribute to your savings.
Already, many individuals are choosing to postpone their retirements in the face of rising eldercare costs. For rising generations, strategic planning can’t start too early.
Consider family support options
As the population ages, more individuals are likely to rely on publicly accessible services rather than family support systems, despite rising costs. However, there is evidence of a shift in traditional care structures and assumptions.
This movement toward a multigenerational approach has been much more common in cultures outside the U.S. in the past. Now, predictions suggest that the increasing strain on long-term care services may result in more older individuals remaining with family members longer.
It may be worth considering keeping your parents or grandparents living with family members and paying for homecare for as long as possible before moving into a dedicated care facility. Consider homecare jobs and remote healthcare support options as part of your long-term plan.
Vote on infrastructure and policy
The pandemic has called public attention to the systemic issues, including inequity and racism, ingrained in long-term care services. Reestablishing effective community support systems for the elderly is poised to become an even more pressing concern. However, such change begins at the level of policy.
Currently, authority over services and care resources rests with individual state governments. As a result, from state to state, the organization, access, delivery systems, and regulation varies dramatically.
In fact, a few states have already begun developing action plans for their aging populations as they anticipate the burden on these systems in the coming decade.
The best way to guarantee that the proliferation of home care jobs in the years to come is leveraged to its fullest potential to serve the broadest possible population is by educating yourself and your community on these issues. Then, when the time comes, voting for policies with lasting impact.
Understandably, addressing many long-term care issues has been suspended during the height of the pandemic. However, with access to vaccines, as businesses and services begin tentative reopenings, eldercare concerns are likely to reemerge in political discourse and, with them, questions of cost and social responsibility.
For now, the best way to prepare is to continue saving, reexamine retirement healthcare plans, discuss long-term options with your family, and stay informed about reemerging policy votes.