Long Term Care Crisis: A Big Innovation Opportunity?
Posted by Chip Block on November 6, 2019 5:00 PM EST
Recent blog postings by our team and much research suggest that the issues that have emerged due to the aging population and the impact of poor financial preparation for retirement.....
...are RIPE for innovative solutions.
Being ripe for innovative solutions does not necessarily mean that those solutions are obvious, easy or evidence-based from the outset. And this is one of the innovator's dilemmas or the inventor's paradox or change agent's conundrum. The classic attributes of an "overshot market" and one that is growing in leaps and bounds combined with the inability of people to access reliable resources and the majority having to seek help and assistance from friends and family exist in abundance in the long term care world.
Interestingly, blog posts by both Joe and Thomas show alarming statistics. More than 90% of people who will need long term care do not have long term care insurance. Many long term care insurance carriers are leaving the market or are reducing their benefits load per premium dollar. Medicare doesn't cover the full array of support services, nor does Medicaid. AARP has sponsored and helped enact legislation in many states for training, certifying, supporting and in some cases, remunerating individuals for providing the services that long term care conditions require.
One thought that emerges is what if the healthy, but unemployed segment of the elderly and caring population is trained and provides support to a small group of their peers much like care managers in the health care world do? What if these folks could earn a supplementary income of say $20 per hour to work with three to four "cases" at a time? Could these people be able to provide the kind of care most elderly need....and would the income generated by the collective revenue of $80 for serving four clients actually more than covers the expenses of basic care that can be provided for many elderly in their homes? And could these workers be taught to capture great life lessons from the elderly they serve and transfer what they have learned to others trained in translating such captured knowledge into action?
What if "good enough" is better than nothing at all?