The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Letters

July 5, 2014

Brighter future for seniors

— In May, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report noting that by 2050, 83.7 million Americans will be 65 or older, compared with 43.1 million in 2012. Long-term care facilities — nursing homes, assisted living centers and skilled nursing facilities — have evolved and adapted significantly since the passage of the Medicare Act in 1965, which was the first government act to offer assistance to senior citizens.

In the 1960s, nursing home facilities either were viewed as a country club for retirees who didn’t want to live alone and later earned the reputation for being one’s final destination before the end of life.

Over time, many landmark pieces of legislation, as well as enhanced federal oversight of skilled nursing facilities have improved the environmental and clinical guidelines for our most vulnerable population.

Things have changed significantly since 1965. Today, providers who care for our older Americans recognize that seniors have health care setting choices. This competition has encouraged providers to feature specialized units for the Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s patient, enhance dining experiences and offer a host of technological advances that enable a loved one to stay in touch with friends and family from across the country through video conferencing and social media connectivity.

With better preventative health and a baby boomer population that refuses to age without a fight, more Americans are living longer and not needing longterm care such as skilled nursing services until much later in their retirement life. Skilled nursing services today are generally utilized for either short-term rehabilitation and recovery or when an individual needs daily support due to advancing medical conditions that require specialized doctors and nurses to oversee complex medical needs.

The number of medications Americans take can be daunting to navigate, and with the closure of many state mental health hospitals, today’s long-term care facilities are responsible for serving a much broader demographic of patients with a variety of health and wellness challenges.

This year, Golden Living is celebrating 50 years of service to honor and recognize the years of dedication provided by its employees — past and present — who provide daily care for our elder population.

We would like to recognize our caregivers and their tireless work to meet the growing needs of the people we care for every day.

With the population surge that is expected to occur, now more than ever our employees at LivingCenter-Mansion appreciate your trust and the opportunity to serve the Sunbury community for years to come. 

Mark Monahan, executive director, Golden Living - Mansion

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