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Care Giving Groups: The Next Big Thing?

Posted by Thomas Edwards on February 18, 2018 3:20 PM EST
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When we think of ways to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient/participant outcomes, we see trends that are hard to.....

..ignore.

For example, I call your attention to the advance of the physician's assistant as a more than "good enough" alternative to having the high cost private practice physician deal with the 80% of healthcare diagnosis and medical advice for basic healthcare and medical services.  The same can be said for the growing medical practice fo nurse practitioners.  Not to mention the increase in telehealth services, online tools for self-diagnosis and so on. And what about the new jobs being created as we deal with the social plague, that is reversible and manageable, called "substance abuse recovery coaches"..a much lower costing alternative to "social case managers".

But as the world's population continues to age and there continues to be a well-publicized gap in retirement incomes for this burgeoning and healthcare needy group, then we see massive pressure on the healthcare system and on the ever-increasing political threat (or reality) of cutbacks in Medicare and Medicaid.  Don't even begin to think about how the enormous void in preparation for assisted living and long-term care impacts this "perfect storm" of large, aging populations all over the globe, ever-increasing healthcare costs and inadequate retirement funding. 

This all leads to some very frightening scenarios. 

But one of them is not so scary or draconian.  The inevitable conclusion that I have made is that we may see an amazing rise in the role of the "citizen care giver".  Whereby prepared, licensed and certified "care givers" emerge to help people help each other help themselves live healthier lives in their old age.  These roles would serve as do excellent choreographers, and orchestra leaders, personal trainers and coaches of all kinds.  Even teachers and motivators...coordinators all! 

Just to test my thinking on all this, I recently purchased a book written by the well-known expert on aging, researcher and author Joseph F. Coughlin.  The book is titled "The Longevity Economy".  It was published near the end of 2017, so it's recent stuff.  The Forward to the book is loaded with compelling statistics, so it will be meaty...and will probably lead me to deeper conclusions or debunk the ones that I have now.

I'll keep you posted on what I find out...!

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