Many individuals are in good health and can independently perform their activities of daily living. Unfortunately, this is not the case for over 14 million Americans who receive some form of long-term care. From 2000-2025, the 65-plus demographic will double and increase the demand for long-term care by 100 percent. The current elder care system leaves many elders’ needs unmet and as the demand for long-term care increases the problem will get worse.
Innovators already tackling this problem include the Business Innovation Factory and its Elder Experience Lab, a platform for creating partnerships and prototyping solutions to improve the elder experience, and The Green House Project, a nationwide project rethinking skilled nursing care environments.
This is a complex problem without a right answer, but we can become part of the solution. Ultimately, the goal is to increase elder well-being, which for elders means staying engaged, being connected, and having a sense of purpose. Contact your local AARP chapter to see how you can start improving the lives of elders in your community or think about the elders in your family and how you could improve their experience. A quick phone call telling them how much they mean to you is a good place to start!
Photo via: Business Innovation Factory