June 29, 2016, Argentum - Greater integration is needed between the nation’s health care and housing systems(pdf) to help manage chronic disease, improve health outcomes for seniors, and enable millions of Americans to age successfully in their own homes and communities, according to a Bipartisan Policy Center report.
The center’s Senior Health and Housing Task Force has been studying many issues relevant to the senior living industry, noting that over the next 15 years, the nation’s explosive growth of its older adult population will “present unprecedented challenges” including the lack of savings to fund Americans’ retirements. “An ability to see important connections that span across the seemingly disparate disciplines of housing, architecture, health care, information technology, telecommunications, transportation, urban planning, and financial services is critical” write the report authors. They look at four aspects of current challenges:
The need for a much greater supply of homes affordable to our nation’s lowest-income seniors.
The importance of transforming homes and communities so that seniors can age with options, a desire shared by the overwhelming majority of older adults.
The imperative to better integrate health care and supportive services with housing, recognizing that this integration has the potential to improve health outcomes for seniors and reduce the costs borne by the health care system.
The need to deploy technologies on a far wider scale to help all Americans age successfully.
Recommendations include more efforts on preventing and ending homelessness, aiding low-income seniors, and to encourage Congress and the administration to identify ways to more effectively support the service coordination needs of senior housing providers.