For years, federal and state governments have shied away from the problem of providing long-term care for ailing seniors – and for good reason.
While mounting costs of Social Security, prescription drugs and federal health care programs get a lot of attention, the staggering costs of providing community based social services and nursing home facilities and in-home care to seniors are draining the savings of average Americans and posing frightening long-term fiscal challenges for government officials.
“Responsibility for long-term service support is shared among seniors and people with disabilities themselves, family, friends, and volunteer care-givers; communities, state, and federal government,” Alice Rivlin, the former Congressional Budget Office Director and an expert on long-term elder care, testified recently before a House committee. “This shared-responsibility system is severely stressed, and will become increasingly unable to cope as the numbers needing care increase.”
– The Fiscal Times