Forbes: Aging in Place Sounds Great, But is it Really?

The prospect of remaining at home as Americans age has garnered resounding appeal relative to community-based and more “institutional” options. But with the level of care needed by many of those age-in-place candidates, there’s also a risk in whether the services available at home are sufficient, writes Forbes columnist Howard Gleckman

Much information about family caregivers, the vast majority of caregivers who provide care to aging loved ones at home, is unknown, Gleckman points out in his article. The lack of skills, metrics and data leaves questions about the quality of care most people can access when they age in place. 

“Much is undoubtedly delivered with great love and compassion. But, sadly, it is also provided by family members who have no caregiving skills,” Gleckman writes. “For instance, they often don’t know how to safely lift a frail relative out of bed, or how to help her bathe….And we nothing about how many people fall because a family member can’t manage that transfer.”

The knowns are “sketchy,” Gleckman says, even when it comes to paid home care aides, with additional uncertainty presented by the fact that many home care agencies are private pay, and their services and results are not tracked by Medicare and Medicaid. 

“There is also no quality information about the huge “grey market” of home health aides—the tens of thousands of independent contractors who get jobs by word of mouth, by posting a 3×5 card on a supermarket bulletin board, or through an ad on Cragislist,” he writes. “Some of these aides are terrific. Some are incompetent or worse. The problem is: We don’t know.”

View the Forbes column.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular Articles

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please