Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
There is news about older adults just about every day in the media — among the topics are the exploding demographics of seniors; the increasing number of dementia cases; reports on episodes of falling; commercials on pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals; the high cost of long-term care; family caregiver stress and more. It feels like an inescapable vortex of concerns that overhang our hopes and plans for our golden years.
For the past four decades, I have been in the thick of eldercare service development, focusing primarily on the creation of long-term-care related services for the frail and disabled. During these years, I have observed two divergent approaches related to aging. On the one hand, there has been a longstanding tendency to address aging as sick care and its need for chronic care management. Because of the high cost anticipated with nursing home care, there is an ongoing need to find more cost-effective solutions with home- and community-based care and aging-in-place policies.