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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The long term care industry is in a mess


How do you explain the fact that the number of people in long term care (in the US) is declining at a time when the number of older-old is rapidly increasing.

It would be nice to think that the advances in ageing in place have made this possible but Laurie Orlov argues that it is probably due to the poor standards of the care industry. Basically, people don't want to buy their product.

I quote from her blog. Is word-of-mouth spreading the message about the industry's warehousing of frail seniors, about residents left with too few low-paid aides and about nurses who are too pre-occupied with busywork to be aware of the residents or oversee the work of aides? And if not the nurse, then who?

Unfortunately, this comment has a lot of resonance with the situation in the UK, both in the care industry and the NHS.

If only the quality of ageing in place care services was good, or a least adequate, then things wouldn't be so bad. But that is not the case.

I fear the bottom-line is that be it either residential or domiciliary care - the overall customer service quality is poor and sometimes dreadful. Sure, I know there are examples of great service but that doesn't excuse the plethora of cases of abysmal service.

Looking on the positive side, this is a fantastic opportunity for new entrants to the business to re-write the business model and provide a uniform and consistent quality of service. Dick Stroud

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