The challenges facing our nation’s health care system today are driven by demographics. The first member of the baby boom generation turned 65 last year. Our health care system now stands directly in the path of a tidal wave of aging baby boomers who will be retiring at the rate of 10,000 a day for the next 20 years. That system will clearly have to adapt and change if it is to survive that impact.
One of the most important things that we can do is to shift our orientation from institutional to community and home-based care. Advances in technology and infrastructure have made it possible for older adults – who previously would have been forced to move to a hospital or nursing home – to stay just where they want to be: in the comfort, privacy and security of their own homes. In fact, a survey conducted for the Maine chapter of the AARP found that nine out of 10 Mainers would prefer to receive services at home as opposed to a nursing home or other residential care facility. (more…)