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Improving the Health Care of America’s Older Adults Through Social Work. Corinne H. Rieder Executive Director and Treasurer The John A. Hartford Foundation The Leadership Academy in Aging NYAM/NADD Partnership Saturday, June 18, 2011. Overview.
Corinne H. Rieder
Executive Director and Treasurer
The John A. Hartford Foundation
The Leadership Academy in Aging
Saturday, June 18, 2011
- Today there are 40 M people 65 & older. By 2050 there will be 85 M.
- They will increase from 1.5% in 2000 to 5% of the population by 2050.
- Those 100 & older are projected to grow from 50,000 to 800,000.
U.S. Population Aged 85+ (in millions)
Sources of data: U.S. Census Bureau, “65+ in the United States: 2005,” December 2005; U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Interim Projections by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 2004.
Age in YearsSecond, the Prevalence of Chronic Diseases Increases with Age
2. Medicare beneficiaries with 5 or more conditions:
4. The development & use of technology in health care increases health care costs, i.e., medical technology
Increasing the numbers & skills of geriatrics-trained workers will not be sufficient, as it will not fix the deficiencies in the way care is delivered or address inefficiencies.
Discrimination & ageism negatively impact:
What is Hartford’s vision?
What is the Foundation doing to achieve that vision?
What steps can the social work profession take to improve & integrate health & supportive services for older people? I will offer 4 recommendations & what I will call 4 “inconvenient truths.”
* Who Will Provide Primary Care & How Will They be Trained? Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, 2010
Social workers have to be advocates & leaders for change even without the money to do it.
*Diane Meier “Be at the Table or Be on the Menu”
- Hospital Readmission
- ACA programs, e.g., ACOs, Innovation monies
- Reducing health care costs
- Coordination & integration of service delivery
- Disease prevention
- Caring for patients with multiple chronic diseases
- Patient-centered medical homes – how will they be implemented? Roles for social workers?
* For example, see the IOM Report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce (2008) which identifies many evidence-based service models.
The bequest from John A. Hartford, which established the Foundation, directed future Hartford trustees
“to do the greatest good for the greatest number.”
And…”to carve from the whole vast spectrum of human needs one small band that the heart and mind together tell you is the area in which you can make your best contribution.”
Given Mr. Hartford’s wishes, what led the Foundation to choose improving the health care of older adults as its goal?
1. Respect for Mr. Hartford’s desire to target a limited area to achieve maximum impact.
2. The demographics.
3. No other foundation had that area as a major focus.
All social workers are prepared to
care for older adults
1. Prepare a geriatrically competent workforce.
2. Infuse geriatrics in the education programs of all schools of social work in the country.
3. Ensure that there are sufficient geriatrics faculty members.
6. Communicate the idea that older adults are “a core business” of health care & its professions.
The Foundation pursues two major strategies in its social work initiative:
-- A commitment next Monday to begin implementing at least one of these recommendations & to start a discussion in your institution or organization on these “inconvenient truths” or others of your choice. Hartford has many available resources & tools that can help you implement these recommendations.
-- If this is not done, all of us in this room & older people everywhere, will not have the health care they need & deserve. Thank you very much.