The number of LCT providers in the US
There are both informal and formal caregivers under long-term care (LTC). “Informal and family caregivers refer to people who do not have pay but provide care” (Rogers and Komisar, 2003). At the same time, some formal caregivers are mainly volunteers or paid caregivers working under a service system (Evashwick, 2005).
The exact number of informal caregivers is difficult to determine. This is because the number varies depending on the definitions and individuals describing both caregivers and care recipients. However, according to Health and Human Services, there are currently “52 million family and informal caregivers in the US providing services to people aged 20 years or disabled persons” (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2001).
The trend in LTC community-based services is on the increase since the year 1999 when the Supreme Court allowed people to get care in the community instead of the institution if possible. The US citizens who rely on formal LTC for the provision of LTC services have “increased to nine percent from five percent between 1984 and 1999, on the other side, between 2000 and 2002, the number of licensed living, or board care facilities increased from 32,886 to 36,399 nationally. This reflects the trend towards community-based care, instead of nursing homes. Some of these caregivers do not have licenses” (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2001).
The use of nursing homes is on the decline as people move to community-based centers. This is because the use of nursing homes increases with age. People with severe conditions and mainly senior citizens aged above 65 years use nursing homes. Nursing homes are popular with senior citizens because they receive good care and assistance. As the number of senior citizens continues to increase, the number of nursing homes also increases (Fradkin, 1992).
The number of clients currently using the service
The periods of 1984 to 1994 showed no increase in the number of senior citizens getting LTC as the number remained at 5.5 million people. In 1994, over 3.3 million of the population between 18 and 64 got their LTC at community-based care providers. There was a decline in the prevalence of senior citizens receiving LTC. On the other side, there were increments in cases of mental impairment and disability among these populations. Their cognitive prevalence rose from 34 percent to 40 percent between 1984 and 1994 (Rogers and Komisar, 2003).
Cases of severe mental conditions in seniors have increased citizens within the past few decades. However, their physical conditions remain the same. As this number increases, the demands for care facilities also increase. “In 2005, there were five million people in the US above 85 years and this number will increase to 19.4 by the year 2050” (Komisar and Thompson, 2004). It means that the number of senior citizens who would need care for severe mental conditions will increase from the current 1.6 million to 6.2 million by 2050. Thus, the need for LTC facilities would also increase steadily.
Types of clients served
In the US by the year 2000, an estimated 10 million people needed LTCs. The majority of these people who needed LTCs were mainly the elderly above 65 years (6.3 million). However, there were also populations below 64 years (3.7 million) who needed LTCs. Studies show that people who are 64 years and below have a 68 percent probability in a lifetime of being disabled either in daily activities or mentally impaired (Komisar and Thompson, 2004).
Some communities offer services and programs to assist senior citizens and people with disabilities. Services they offer include Meals-on-Wheels, chore services, transportation services, adult day care, personal care, and other varieties of services senior citizens may need. These services come at low costs or are free to people who meet the selection criteria. There are “local Area Agencies on Aging which conduct and promote these services to dignity and independence of senior citizens” (Mollica, 2002). Medicaid may pay for some services such as home health care, chore services, medical equipment, skilled nursing care, and personal care (Mollica, 2002).
Industry growth expectations
The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that by the year 2050, people who will need LTC services, under any setting, will double from 13 million (2000) to 27 million people. The agency based its records on the increasing population of old people who require LTC services. These people are likely to be at homes, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2001).
Two major challenges or issues facing providers today or in the future
LTC services providers also face challenges that could persist into the future if not managed at an early stage. Research findings have indicated that “if saving rates do not increase, and programs which assist the elderly remain weak, many retirees and senior citizens will experience challenges in getting needed health and LTC services in the future” (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). These agencies also estimate that, “by the year 2030, several retirees will not have adequate assets or incomes to maintain their basic expenditures, or any spending concerning LTC, and health services” (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2001).
In the recent past, the LCT sector has experienced short hospital stays and growing usage of outpatient services. This has increased medical care services. However, the burden has shifted towards unpaid or low costs care, providers, such as families, friends, and neighbors among others.
Suggestions and solutions for addressing the above challenges
Individuals must increase their saving rates to cater for their future LTC services after retirement. At the same time, the government must also strengthen and increase its supporting programs to support the elderly in LTC care. As we have seen, the aging population is increasing rapidly; thus, LTC services providers must also expand their facilities to accommodate this number. LTC services providers must also focus on managing conditions of cognitive conditions in the elderly.
The demand for LTC services is increasing as the number of the elderly population is increasing, as well as the number of people above 18 years. These populations require services that are only available either through informal or formal caregivers. Studies also show that their needs vary from daily life activities to cognitive requirements.
Market analysis also that the demand is increasing as the population increases. This condition has created some challenges in the LTCs facilities which require the inputs of both the government and individuals in safeguarding their LTC services.
The Innovative Life Solutions LTC Team assists with the fact-finding required for recommending a suitable coverage. It provides personalized illustrations and follows up with a phone call to review illustrations to save clients’ time. It also offers a point of sales assistance via conference calls for clients’ complicated cases and streamlines the application process by providing step-by-step guidance. Finally, it serves as a client’s advocate with the insurance company underwriters.
General market analysis describing all aspects of the community the facility serves and the facility itself
Innovative Life Solutions has an advanced markets Team that offers its clients access to industry experts’ knowledge using advanced marketing strategies and planning. The company’s consultants and attorneys offer solutions for tax, legal, and assistance for complex business or estate planning. It provides access to a wide range of financial planning strategies and concepts and assists clients get with educational marketing materials which they can customize to fit the information needed.
Innovative Life Solutions’ industry leverages its ability to provide the clients access to the following advanced marketing planning concepts, such as business succession, executive compensation, charitable or legacy planning, estate planning, wealth transfer, and asset protection.
Innovative Life Solutions takes lead in managing clients’ practice. The company has resources and solutions which are effective and efficient. Innovative Life Solutions offers appropriate concepts required to grow the business and build long-lasting relationships with clients. The company has also partnered with Ash Brokerage in providing back-office services.
Two major challenges facing this long-term care provider in your community
The numbers of aging populations are unfolding, and funding of Innovative Life Solutions community-based LTC system will become a major problem. Even with growth in incomes, the increasing number of senior citizens and people with disabilities who require long-term care will overwhelm and outstrip Innovative Life Solutions capacity to cater to the needed services of these populations. It is fundamental for Innovative Life Solutions to plan for the impending financial difficulties for its long-term care system. This is because the aging population will soon overwhelm the available fund and supports from the government. Therefore, Innovative Life Solutions must plan its financial position and expand its facilities to accommodate the growing numbers of seniors and disabled populations.
The company focuses on disability protection as a solid foundation for financial management. However, many clients do not notice the value of protection until they either become too ill or hurt. At this stage, chances of suffering disabilities are high with devastating effects. The company is finding it hard to recruit clients for protection in cases of disabilities.
To overcome this challenge, Innovative Life Solutions has services to cater to individuals and businesses alike. These products include income insurance that assists people to pay everyday living expenses. There is also a service that ensures that a disabled business owner gets reimbursed in case of disability. It also offers disabled business owners opportunities to sell their businesses to keep their values and ensure a smooth succession. Innovative in the company also takes accounts of disability to a key person in the business. Finally, there is also retirement protection that helps individuals save even during a disability.
Innovative Life Solutions concepts and strategies must change immediately to accommodate the future needs of the LTC system. The strategies and concepts should account for the “key values of independence and choice of clients, and Innovative Life Solutions noted model of community-based supports through innovation” (Mollica, 2002). However, the plan must adequately address the unavoidable scarcity in future resources. It must present strategies and concepts to keep the elderly and retirees independent and healthy during their stays in community-based centers. Innovative Life Solutions must recommend how both LTC and acute care services can work when aligned to fit the diverse needs of its clients.
Evashwick, C. J. (2005). The Continuum of Long-Term Care, 3rd ed. New York: Thomson Delmar Learning.
Fradkin, L. (1992). Caregiving of older adults. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc.
Komisar, H. and Thompson, L. (2004). Who Pays for Long-Term Care? Fact Sheet, Long-Term Care Financing Project. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Mollica, R. (2002). State Assisted Living Policy: 2002. Portland: National Academy for State Health Policy.
Rogers, S. and Komisar, H. (2003). Who needs long-term care? Fact Sheet, Long- Term Care Financing Project. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
US Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). The Characteristics of Long- term Care Users. Rockville: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Washington, DC: USDHHS.