There is a push in Minnesota to continually decrease the number of licensed nursing home beds. The Minnesota Health and Housing Alliance has developed The Demand Model to try to predict the kind of skilled nursing we will need in 25 years to support our Minnesota Seniors.
Here are the facts:
- By 2030 on of every four Minnesotans will be over the age of 65 (compared to 1 in 8 today)
- Minnesota has fewer women available to do what is traditionally thought of as the caregiver role. Here, more women work outside the home than any other state.
The demand model predicts we can continue to have a decline in skilled nursing beds if:
- There is continued investment in home and community spending
- Acute care utilization remains constant
- An additional 16,649 assisted living units are contructed by 2030
- There is availability of family/community caregivers. They MHHA estimates by 2030 there will be 100,000 seniors 85+ with no family or others to provide informal care.
The MHHA paper does a superb job of outlining utilization. Now we need a group of leaders to begin to address issues the MHHA paper didn't mention such as:
Most Assisted living communities in Minnesota are NOT equipt or licensed to deal with residents who need two people to help them out of wheelchairs, insulin dependence, adjusting a bed-ridden patient every two hours to avoid bed sores, along with a host of other conditions. Will our assisted living communities become the new skilled nursing homes?
The MHHA paper assumes there will be enough informal care provided by family, friends and neighbors. Remember, we will be in the midst of a health care crisis because there will not be enough generation X and Y professionals to take care of the large senior population. How will there be enough of them to care for their elderly loved ones? How will our current economic status effect the long term ability of Gen X and Gen Y to get away from money making activities to volunteer time to care for the elderly?
Are we de-institutionalizing care the way the baby boomers will demand, or are we simply replacing skilled nursing beds, and now calling them assisted living communities?
What do you think?
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