Written by By Melissa Lewelling, CNN
When it comes to more recent inroads into elder care, more is often better.
But the reverse is not quite true.
In recent years, even as workers with higher-paying jobs become the standard for health care provision, individual equipment and facilities have been underfunded. This has had a negative impact on critical care services.
“In nursing homes, when the supply of technology that helps people with dementia live a more active, normal life arrives, they do not have access to it,” says Deborah Engel, an attorney with the National Disability Rights Network and an advocate for electronic social networks. “The story is almost the same in child care. There is enough room for new equipment but it is not being funded.”
What’s causing this problem?
“Generally speaking, a family with a loved one in a nursing home isn’t going to be expecting the trip to see one of those helpful gadgets,” Engel adds. “Every $250 investment in a device can give someone in a nursing home an extra day of living on this earth.”
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This lack of funding is not just limited to the US. According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), only half of adults in OECD countries have access to good quality health and social care.
The same report notes that all of these places combine for a 30-year shortfall in health spending on older people of more than $100 billion annually.
The reasons for this shortfall are numerous: access to dental and medical care, which fluctuates over time; aging population; inefficient tax systems; long hospital stays; and low contribution from the working population.