Read the March 7, 2012 Atlantic article, Making the Best of What is Often the Very Worst Time of Our Lives.
Whether we are helping to support aging parents right now or thinking about the years when we become elderly adults, we all know the situation. Our health care system and long-term care options are not prepared for the generational tsunami that is aging at this moment in time, and no workable solutions are in site to manage the big picture.
The Atlantic magazine piece is an excerpt from a book, The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life , by Ira Byock, the director or palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Quotes from the Article
As difficult as things are now, these may turn out to be the good old days. How we die is already a public health crisis, and care for people through the end of life is poised to become a generation-long social catastrophe. Within the next few years, a demographic tidal wave of aging and chronically ill Americans will overwhelm our already stressed systems. As a nation, time is fleeting to avert a full-blown disaster.
Very soon, for the first time in human history, older people will outnumber younger people on our planet. In the United States, one in five adults is 65 or older. The 75 million baby boomers have begun paying senior prices at the box office and every day thousands more qualify for Medicare and Social Security. …Those of us who are concerned about long-term care have good reasons to worry. The nursing homes of the future — our future! — may make today’s nursing homes look like luxury hotels. It doesn’t have to turn out that way
I may buy the book, which comes out on March, 15, 2012.