Transforming America's fractured and outdated system of long-term care could enhance the lives of millions. We've known that for years. Yet society has failed to act, and older adults have paid a terrible price in personal safety and quality of life.
It doesn't have to be that way.
Here are five reasons why the moment has arrived to have a national conversation and take meaningful actions on long-term care:
1. The system is now in the spotlight. President Biden's infrastructure plan, which would invest $400 billion in home- and community-based services, has focused much-needed attention on these issues.
2. COVID-19's devastating impact. Over 184,000 residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19, and a barrage of news stories reported on this horror. We cannot let that tragedy fade in memory.
3. Long-term care is a bipartisan concern. The recently introduced Credit for Caring Act demonstrates bipartisan support to ease the struggles family caregivers face.
4. The inequity of our caregiving system. The pandemic has dramatized the system's poor treatment of the neediest and most vulnerable, with older adults in communities of color often treated worst of all.