Home Instead Senior Care, Birmingham

An Open Letter from Paul Hogan, Founder of Home Instead Senior Care

Monday, October 11, 2010


When my wife Lori and I wrote Stages of Senior Care, we viewed it as a public service to educate people about the senior care continuum. We are gratified to know those who read the book believe we accomplished that goal.

The Home Instead Senior Care white paper "Caring for the Aging: The Old System is Obsolete, Time to Create a New Model" also stresses the senior care continuum. This letter is the final installment of my reflections on that paper. Its conclusions are personal to me because twenty years ago, my family and I questioned whether the two traditional care options--(1) finding ways to help aging parents live at home, and then, (2) proceeding to nursing home care--offered enough choices for all seniors. Greater society began to push back against this old system as well.

Today, a new model recognizes that many public and private options contribute to healthy aging. A U.S. couple's plan for aging may include many stops along a care path including:

• Aging in place
• Family care
• Senior centers and adult daycare centers
• Nonmedical care at home
• Medical care at home
• Retirement and independent living communities
• Assisted living
• Skilled nursing homes
• Hospice care

Some Americans will reach their senior years not knowing their future care options.

In just a few months, the first baby boomers begin celebrating their 65th birthdays. As the age wave starts, Washington should acknowledge the most significant demographic trend in U.S. history by initiating a senior care public education campaign. Doing so may inspire the nation's 78 million citizens born between 1946 and 1964 to ask themselves how well their retirement funds and other benefits will cover their senior care needs. With a plan, most could increase the quality of their senior years and decrease expenses for themselves personally and the health care system nationally. But, a recent Home Instead, Inc., survey revealed that more than one-third of decision-makers said they did not discuss senior care until a crisis forced the conversation.

It's time for Washington to talk seriously about the senior care continuum. Unfortunately, just like some families, our government may wait until circumstances become critical. You can do your part by tracking senior care legislation, addressing public policy issues that have profound implications for seniors and advocating for a new caring for the aging model.

Please join Lori and me in changing the way America views and understands the face of aging.

Paul R. Hogan

Paul Hogan is Chairman & Founder of Home Instead Senior Care and, with his wife Lori, co-author of Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions.

To us it's personal


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