What The Decline In Aged Care Standards Means

| Sunday, October 30, 2011
By Byron Jonas

There is no doubt that the decline in aged care standards offers everyone something to worry about. As a social issue the problem runs deep into the devaluing of aging individuals and the obsession with youth. Families of today do not have ready solutions on hand when faced with parents who are getting older and families that demand attention.

Without improvement within the system there will not be an improvement in the quality that is offered to today's elderly. The lack of respect and concern filters into everything from the availability of affordable medications to the lack of volunteers for the aging population. The need for basic concern for clean beds and proper medication with adequate meals is just the beginning.

Warehousing of people causes a greater effect on health, mental acuity, and life expectancy. It leads to depression of the staff as well as the patients. The current regulations create a systematic grouping of people that determines the level of quality they receive. This applies not only to facilities but to the entire system of medical as well as social service qualifications.

Outside of facilities many of today's elderly face the same issues. They can not qualify for transportation to and from their medical visits and they can not rely solely on volunteer organizations for food, clothing, and medication. Without insurance approval they can not receive in home help that will provide for their needs or give them the ability to stay in their homes independently.

The cost of living today is hurting the elderly as Social Security benefits freeze and pensions or retirement savings dwindle. Often it is the cost of living independently and struggling to pay medical fees that drives more people toward nursing facilities. Without the space to offer these individuals the situation starts to become frightening.

What can be done about this situation? Improvements throughout the generalized medical and social systems could carry a huge impact on the next generation, and the ones following that. It has been suggested that the regulations are aimed at protecting the insurance companies by politicians who use the bad mark on society as an election platform.

Insurance companies hold the key to providing better coverage for the aging population so they can afford their medications, afford to eat, and afford to maintain their life. The rest of the problem goes much deeper than that.

In order to change the decline in aged care standards the entire community needs to become more creative and considerate within their activities. Advocacy for better inspection standards and involvement in mentally and socially valuable activities is just the beginning. Creative solutions will include a change in attitude toward the aging population. The generations that will follow today's level of promise is not looking forward to a better situation. Until everyone comes together and demands respect and real change for the elderly the problems of today will only carry over into tomorrow.

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