Perspectives: Raising Expectations – California’s 2014 LTSS Scorecard Results

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In this Perspectives, Dr. Chernof discusses California’s ranking in the 2014 Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard. The LTSS State Scorecard is published by AARP Policy Institute every three years, with support from The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation.

Date Updated: 06/20/2014

As a physician, I’ve witnessed firsthand the plight of so many families whose lives are thrown into turmoil as an older parent or grandparent takes a fall, suffers an injury and experiences a sudden health decline. Without warning, families find themselves at the epicenter of a fragmented long-term care system: struggling to get the right care and services for their loved one, trying to figure out how to pay, juggling caregiving duties with work obligations and all the while wondering how this could have been prevented. Meanwhile, the older person’s dignity is often compromised by a lack of options for care and services, and ultimately many end up losing some of the independence he or she once enjoyed. As a society, we can and must do better…

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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.

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.