California Ranks in Top 10 for Long-Term Care, AARP Report Finds
California's support systems for older or disabled adults and their caregivers rank among the top 10 states in the U.S., according to an AARP scorecard released Thursday, HealthyCal reports (Perry, HealthyCal, 6/18).
More than four million California residents assist aging parents, spouses or other individuals needing long-term and medical care. The labor value of this unpaid care totals about $47 billion annually, according to an AARP California release (AARP California release, 6/19).
According to NPR's "Shots," the study was conducted because the number of available family caregivers is declining (Jaffe, "Shots," NPR, 6/19).
In addition, in 12 years "the leading edge of the baby boom generation will enter its 80s, placing new demands on the [long term care] system," according to the report.
Details of Scorecard
The Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation contributed to AARP's "Raising Expectations" scorecard, which compared recent findings with data collected during the same study in 2011 (HealthyCal, 6/18).
The study looked at 26 different variables in five key areas:
- Affordability and access;
- Choice of setting and provider;
- Effective transitions;
- Quality of life and care; and
- Support for family caregivers.
According to an AARP Maine release, new indicators this year included length of stay in nursing homes and the use of anti-psychotic drugs by nursing homes (Margesson, AARP Maine release, 6/19).
California ranked ninth overall, largely because of the state's wide range of choices in long-term care providers and settings, according to HealthyCal (HealthyCal, 6/18).
In the five key areas, California ranked:
- 2nd for choice of provider and setting;
- 14th for affordability and access;
- 22nd for effective transitions;
- 24th for quality of life and care; and
- 24th for support for family caregivers (AARP Scorecard, 6/19).
Blanca Castro, advocacy director for AARP California, said, "California is making some progress to help our older residents achieve that goal. However, this scorecard shows we have much more to do -- and we don't have time to stand idle."
Castro added, "This scorecard gives us a snapshot of how well California serves our older residents, those with disabilities, and family caregivers -- and shows us where we must sharpen our focus to better assist hardworking Californians" (AARP California release, 6/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.