Community Blog

Long-Term Care and Support Costs Seniors and Disabled in Florida

By Debbie Humphrey

US News and World Report conducted a public survey of pre-retirees (ages 45-59), and retirees (ages 60+), examining each of 100 major metropolitan areas across the country to determine the Best Places to Retire 2019.

I’m proud to see the Tampa area fared well and is among the “winners.” The results actually include a number of great cities along the West Coast of Florida.  The contenders were given a retirement score based on a 10-point scale and a weighted average of housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market, and healthcare quality.

Unfortunately, it is Florida’s lack of state financial support or resources to help seniors and the disabled in need of long-term care that is a major concern. The latest Long-Term Services and Support Scorecard [LTSSS], published by AARP in 2017, for research and advocacy, included data for all 50 states.

Our beautiful Sunshine State may be the best place to retire, but continued low standings on the LTSSS, indicates Florida’s lack of progress in improving long-term care costs and coverage, when it comes to family caregivers and community-based programs.

AARP Florida predicts that in the next 10 years, Boomers will be hitting age 80 in record numbers, and the majority of them want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. No surprise there.

Yet, according to data studied by the Scorecard in 2014, “Only 22.6 percent of Florida’s long-term care budget went to home- and community-based care. The best states devoted nearly 70 percent of their long-term care spending to home- and community-based care.”

Today, statistics show that unpaid family caregivers provide the majority of care for older family members, in part because the cost of long-term care remains unaffordable for most families. In Florida, nearly 2.7 million residents help aging parents, spouses and other loved ones stay at home by providing assistance with bathing and dressing, transportation, finances, complex medical tasks like wound care and more. The value of this unpaid care totaled about $29.7 billion in 2013.”

AARP Florida continues to support efforts to encourage Florida lawmakers to make legitimate headway in improving costs and coverage for long term care for seniors and the disabled, especially since our aging population is ever-expanding.

In the meantime, I will continue to do everything in my power to keep Home Helpers’ affordability in-check. When family caregivers require respite for self care and to tend to their own immediate family’s needs, our compassionate caregivers are available to help with personal hygiene, light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, meal preparation, transportation assistance and more.

We tailor our services to meet your loved one’s needs. If you or a family caregiver you know, could use a break, I am happy to schedule a FREE consultation to discuss specific needs and concerns, and I can recommend the perfect caregiver to help!

Home Helpers® is honored to have received the Provider of Choice 2017 & 2018 awards from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors with Glaucoma in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…Making Life Easier℠  727.942.2539

Sources:  AARP

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