“Ageing and Health” is this year’s theme for World Health Day. With falling birth rates and life expectancy increasing, more of us will enter a time of life when we’ll likely need more health care and long-term care.
The director of the World Health Organization, John Beard, says, “With the rapid ageing of populations, finding the right model for long-term care becomes more and more urgent.
Such care might include home health care, with services like nursing and therapies provided within the patient’s home. Assisted Living is another option for older people to consider. Most people also think of nursing homes in this regard, as well.
Most long-term home care is provided as an informal service, with family members and volunteers doing the work. No monetary compensation is usually the case, too.
Europe has led the way for their aging population. Most nations have some sort of framework to pay for formal long-term health providers. Scandinavian nations have also developed ways to compensate informal providers, as well. Germany has instituted mandatory insurance.
Canadians have a variety of plans depending upon which province they live. Long-term care is not publicly covered under the Canada Health Act as are formal hospital and physician care is.
The U.S. has been caught off guard, in that legislated plans like Medicaid and Medicare pay only for limited services. Medicare, for instance, will not pay for custodial nor non-skilled caretakers. Most Americans are unaware of the high costs of long-term care and are unprepared for life as they grow older.
Generally speaking, the rest of the nations are worse off than the United States. Oftentimes, basic care lags behind western standards. This means the standard mode of long-term care is of the unpaid, informal variety.
World Health Day, today, will be devoted to addressing the problems of long-term care as they may be addressed by government and non-government organizations.
World Health Day has been celebrated on April 7th each year since 1950. It was established by the World Health Organization. It’s purpose is to draw attention to specific global health issues each year.
The Blue Jay of Happiness wishes you excellent health today.