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Money Savings Come From Improving Care, Not Eliminating It

Our Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers try to raise awareness of all budget proposals that are brought forward at the state and local level that may affect seniors. Considering that sixty five percent of all nursing home residents rely on Medicaid and Medicare for their care, all policy changes affecting these and similar programs can have very real consequences of the lives of nursing home residents. Nursing home abuse and neglect thrives in areas where corners are cut and resident well-being is not prioritized. All actions that may worsen the treatment of these residents must be opposed.

For example, much news has been made lately as lawmakers on the Joint Select Committee (Super Committee) tasked with cutting more than $1.2 trillion in spending considers a variety of proposals that may affect local seniors. As The Hill reported this weekend, it is vital that those making these financial decisions take the opportunity to enact changes that actually strengthen the long-term care provided to citizens. Considering that many baby boomers are just now beginning to retire, the long-term care industry will soon be seeing a steady stream of increased need. Now is the time to account for those demographic changes.

As the article mentions, the clearest way to both save money and improve care is a radical rethinking of how we look at long-term care. For one thing, there needs to be a shift away from only treating expensive, chronic care when it arises and toward providing proactive, preventative care. As it now stands, two in five seniors have three or more chronic conditions. These conditions have real effects on these individuals quality of life, besides being extremely costly. All serious efforts at reforming long-term care and federal medical costs must focus on preventing those conditions before they arise.

More and more advocates are coming to appreciate that the best way to accomplish that goal is by shifting care to the home where possible. Nearly 90% of seniors admit to wanting to stay in their own home to receive additional care. Yet there remain few options for such care among the majority of seniors who continue to rely on public programs. One of the few exceptions that should be promoted more is the Independence at Home Program-a provision included as part of the new healthcare overhaul. It provides ways for seniors to stay at home while still receiving the care they need to get by each day. From face-time with nurses and monitoring of vital signs to everything in between, services exist to save money and improve senior lives. We need only more utilize them.

The Chicago injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are proud to work with victims of negligence in our area. A large number of those victims are residents of long-term care facilities that suffer serious and sometimes even deadly care. Illinois nursing home neglect is far too common. That is why we support both increasing accountability of these facilities as well more innovative changes to improve the lives of this community. We urge all residents to closely follow these Super Committee developments and to urge their representatives to prioritize long-term senior citizen well-being.

In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.

Please Follow This Link To Vote: Vote for Our Blog. Thanks for your support!

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Steep Budget Cut Seen for Home Health Services for Seniors

Nursing Home Advocates Stand Against the “Balanced Budget” Amendment