Long term care
Long term care refers to the type of health care services provided to patients to meet their medical and non- medical health needs especially people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities. These people cannot take care of themselves for a long time. Long term care is centered on individual services that enhance patient`s independence, improves quality of life and cater for client`s needs for a longer period of time. Examples of such care include helping patients with activities of daily living such as feeding them and dressing at home.
The most chronic illnesses in the US and ARGENTINA
The most common chronic illnesses in the US that need long term care are heart diseases, cancer, stroke, respiratory illnesses, diabetes Alzheimers disease, kidney diseases, and pneumonia. They affect the quality of life hence need for long term care. On the other hand, the leading chronic diseases in Argentina include; cardiovascular diseases which is the leading cause of deaths at 34%. Cancer comes to the second leading cause of death at 21% while respiratory diseases come to the third accounting for 7% of deaths. Other diseases include chronic kidney diseases and diabetes.
Incidence and prevalence of long term care among the two countries
The incidence and prevalence of long term care need in the US rise drastically with the aging population. Statistics in the US reveal that the elderly aged between age 65 to 69 years are in need for increased long term care services however the aged over 85 years 55% of them need help from long term care. Again statistics shows that above 11 million Americans needs long term care as a result of rising chronic illnesses and diseases. Nearly seven million elderly people in the US require long term care as they are dependent on activities of daily living such as dressing, eating and taking a shower. In contrary long term care in Argentina remains underdeveloped with less than 2% of older citizens staying in residential homes or nursing care centers. Long term care for the elderly in Argentina is lacking across the country.
How do US and Argentina expect the numbers to change in 10 years time
The numbers of long term care consumers in the US is expected to increase over the next few decades owing to the increasing family need for long term care to the elderly. The increasing demand for long term care is as a result of the rising population of people aged 85 years and above. There is also increased demand for long term care as the number of people in need of it rises hence the numbers are likely to double in ten years time. However, Argentina expects the numbers of long term care consumers to increase slowly as the government is still in the process of reforming health care sector.
Characteristics of the elderly population in the US and Argentina
The elderly population in the US is composed of people aged 65 years and above accounting for 14.9% of the total population. However, Argentina has experienced a growth in the elderly population from 7% to 10% over 30 years. In Argentina above 17% of the population are the elderly. Besides, there exist differences in long term care needs in the country because of the differences in the number of the elderly burden of chronic illnesses
Institutional and non-institutional caregivers in long term care and factors affecting caregiving
In both the US and Argentina, health care professionals provide long term care while family members provide non-institutional long term care. For example in institutional care, long term care provision occurs within a formal setting such as a hospital or a nursing home while non-institutional care occurs in an informal setting such as a home. However, care provision in the USA is affected by several factors such as; payment to caregivers if they are not paid well then caregiving may go down. Again, the working environment if not conducive then caregiving is affected. On the other hand in Argentina caregiving get affected by the lack of updated protocols, inequalities in health care access and the rising number of chronic diseases.
Differences in status of quality of care between USA and Argentina
There exist differences in the quality of care between these two countries because in the US the elderly receive high-quality health care compared to Argentina. In the US also the number of consumers of long term care is higher compared to Argentina.
The difference in the cost of care and social system to cover health care
The cost of health care in the US is higher than in Argentina due to the rise in the cost of health care services. In the US when somebody fall they pay for their health care or by the employer because the government does not pay for health care services rather it funds Medicare and maids however in Argentina, the public sector supply free clinical services fo in patients covering about 50%. In the US the federal, state and local government pays health services while in Argentina there is a system that provides free basic services.
In conclusion, long term care to patients living with chronic illnesses and disabilities is very crucial in ensuring quality health care services and a better outcome. Despite the rising burden of chronic illnesses in the USA and Argentina, there is still a need to improve long term care and extend it more to the elderly population in both countries. Therefore there is a need for long term care in both countries to meet the rising demand for long term care.
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