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Strong Long-Term Care System

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America’s long-term care system is not just broken — it doesn’t exist. Americans age 50-plus and others in need of long-term care face a patchwork of public and private services, costly institutional care and reliance on family caregivers. Today older adults are often pushed into costly nursing homes — the only form of long-term care automatically covered by Medicaid — even though the vast majority would prefer to live independently in their homes and communities.

Use Your Power to Decide the 2022 Election

Americans 50+ can use their vote to decide the 2022 elections. Commit today to be a Decider and join our fight to make sure candidates keep their promises to preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Join the fight

Unfortunately, options such as home and community services are often unaffordable and limited through many state Medicaid programs. While unpaid family caregivers allow millions of older adults to live safely at home instead of in nursing homes, these family members and friends need more support.

Challenges ahead

The age 85-plus population — those most likely to need assistance with daily activities — is projected to more than triple between 2015 and 2050, making the need for an effective long-term care system even more important.

Older adults must have the opportunity to age where they want to, and we know most want to remain in their homes and communities. For those who live in a residential setting, our elected leaders must rethink institutional care to improve the safety and quality of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and to protect residents against sickness, neglect and isolation.

At the same time, state and federal officials must increase access to the home- and community-based care that older adults prefer. They also must do more to support the 48 million unpaid family caregivers who make living in the community possible for their older parents, spouses and other loved ones.

AARP guiding principles

As you consider a candidate, keep in mind AARP’s priorities for long-term care. AARP is asking Congress and state lawmakers to:

  • Improve care in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities through adequate staffing, oversight, transparency and access to ombudsmen.
  • Expand access to home and community services that allow older adults to live at home, reducing the need for costly taxpayer-funded nursing home care.
  • Provide greater support to family caregivers to make it easier for older adults to remain in their homes and communities.

Call for action

AARP is fighting for seniors who want to live independently at home or in the community and not be forced into nursing homes.

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