Perspectives: Building a Social Movement to Improve Long-Term Care in California

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In this Perspectives, Dr. Chernof reflects on the Foundation’s presence at the 2012 American Society on Aging Conference and how improving long-term care in California will require the long-term strategies and dedication of a social movement.

Date Updated: 05/01/2012

Margaret Mead, the pioneering anthropologist, once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Last month, Washington, D.C., hosted the 2012 American Society on Aging Conference, and The SCAN Foundation brought together one such group of inspired individuals.

Panelists from a variety of backgrounds and fields gathered to share their experiences on organizing California’s older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers to improve home- and community-based services through social action. At stake is the ability to age with dignity, choice, and independence for two key groups: today’s older adults and people with disabilities who depend upon a system of long-term services and supports, and baby boomers who will likely need care in the future…

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High quality, cost effective health care delivery is all about targeting – the right care, by the right provider, at the right time, in the right place, and for the right cost. It sounds straightforward, almost easy. The challenge to getting it right is understanding the range of variables in a person’s life that drive health care use and costs. Find out more in this week’s Perspectives.

Chances are you know and love an older person with needs. Maybe it’s that neighbor of yours whose trash cans you help bring in once a week. Perhaps it’s your grandparent or even a parent who needs help understanding the bills or getting the groceries up the stairs. The reality is the population of older adults in this country is growing rapidly due in large part to the aging of baby boomers – a demographic shift that affects us all. Advancements in health care and technology have also spurred this phenomenon, yet we know that a longer life also brings a greater likelihood of facing multiple chronic health conditions and possibly needing help with everyday activities.

This policy brief establishes a basis for the critical system transformation activities necessary to produce a high quality, person-centered system of care for older adults and people with disabilities.