The 2016 presidential election is crucial for programs that affect 44.7 million Americans. Which candidates will stand up for the issues that have a significant impact on our fast growing aging population?
What do the experts and professionals in senior care think the presidential candidates should focus on if elected? Should they fight for Medicare, easy access to care, Alzheimer's research, supports and services for family caregivers?
SeniorCare.com believes it's time for the candidates to address what matters most to our aging citizens. Every month, they ask leading experts and professionals several questions to help shed light on hard-hitting topics that consumers need to know about concerning long-term care. In this questionnaire, they spotlight the presidential candidates and their campaigns. Here's what they asked:
What's one crucial aging topic that the presidential candidates should add to their platform and campaign?
17 aging experts replied:
1. Conversations about research and a cure for Alzheimer's are important. What is equal if not more important is helping people live well with the disease. A cure could be a long while off, but that does not mean people can't live a quality life. Anthony Cirillo, 4wardfast.com.
2. Denial around aging. The denial leads to accidents and health emergencies. Waiting for an acute occurrence creates decision making in crisis mode, in the midst of panic, emotional and time-critical overwhelm. Those decisions end up being less logical, and too many times much more expensive than they needed to be if they'd planned ahead. Aaron D. Murphy, Empowering the Mature Mind.
4. Social Security reform is a vital topic that presidential candidates need to add to their platform. Baby boomers impact a significant piece of our economy, and we can't continue without Social Security reform unless we're comfortable with exhausting the social security fund some 20 years from now. Rebecca Arciaga, Advisors Mortgage Group.
5. It's our care culture. It affects everything we do, and all that we are. Leading by example, modeling tolerance, inclusion and respect of all is a must if we are going to turn this country around. It should be a mandate, of any candidate or government position, not an option. Effective and authentic change needs a proper care culture to have "staying" power to address priorities. Lori La Bey, AlzheimersSpeaks.com.
6. Presidential candidates and all politicians should address the needs of caregivers. Financial assistance and support services are required so that family caregivers can continue to provide the loving care at home that seniors need now and will continue to need in the future. Caregivers need help to provide care for elders and themselves. Kathy Birkett, SeniorCareCorner.com.
8. Fix Medicaid in terms of in-home care reimbursement. Caregivers are underpaid, especially those who qualify for Medicaid in-home care. How can the industry support this at a $13 reimbursement? Tim Murray, AwareSeniorCare.com.
10. How does each candidate see Americans paying for long-term care services: government programs, voluntary benefits, company benefits? They need encourage families to draw-up a medical directive and legal power of attorney. Raymond Lavine, LavineLTCIns.com.
11. People want new drugs and a cure for Alzheimer's. It's safe to say that many would push for treatments that slow onset and progression of the disease. We need to address the growing numbers that Alzheimer's affect. Candidates should add the development of dementia-friendly cities to their platform. Joy Loverde, ElderIndustry.com.
12. To address the issue of long-term care since Americans face the challenge of living longer with insufficient funds and high probability of developing dementia. How would they tackle the hardships faced by families caring for a loved one with the disease? Ron Kauffman, Senior Lifestyles.
13. Affordable and appropriate housing for the many aging seniors and baby boomers with limited financial means. The silver tsunami is here including many folks who have ill health, dementia, and mental illness. Laurie Miller, Apple Care Companion.
14. Continued improvements in the coverage of preventative care. It's come a long way with many plans (and Medicare) covering preventative screenings. I also think additional focus (education, tax breaks, etc.) on LTC insurance is important as ever now with larger numbers of people that face that need. Alex Chamberlain, Easy Living Home.
15. End-of-life options and choices. It is a difficult topic, but our medically invasive measures to 'save' lives in all cases is resulting in an epidemic of very frail seniors without enough caregiving options and resources. Margo Rose, Body Aware Grieving.
16. If the ratio of taxpaying workers to resource-consuming retirees continues to shrink as America grays, what is our long term plan? What is the role of government or families in taking care of older Americans? The world is full of cautionary tales of societies whose healthy growth negatively affects these realities with sobriety and grit. Thomas West, Signature Estate & Investment Advisors.
Please join in the conversation. What topics do you believe that the presidential candidates should address to help our country, our economy, and our citizens?