Creating Direction: A Guide for Improving Long-Term Care in SC

IMPH_ LTC_CoverRecommendations to reshape South Carolina’s long-term care system have been released by a statewide taskforce convened by the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health. These recommendations aim to improve the long-term care system and prepare it for the rapid growth in the aging population.

South Carolina’s long-term care system is not ready to meet the coming demand as the older population will nearly double over the next 15 years. However, it is not only older adults who need long-term care; 43% of those needing long-term care are under the age of 65. The 30 recommendations in the report are the culmination of a year and a half of work by the Long-Term Care Taskforce which included more than 60 experts from across the state. Chaired by Joel Smith, dean emeritus of the USC Moore School of Business and former president of Bank of America East, the taskforce was guided by a 16-member steering committee. The taskforce envisioned a quality, cost-effective system that would meet the diverse needs of individuals at any age while promoting independence with choice and dignity.

Report highlights address the following:

• The need for better coordination among the state agencies that provide or pay for long-term care as well as the importance of private sector engagement.

• A focus on home and community-based services as part of a full spectrum of care options.

• The need to protect vulnerable adults and develop an Adult Abuse Registry.

• The need to ensure an adequate, well-trained long-term care workforce.

• The value of supporting and empowering family caregivers, particularly through training, informational resources and much-needed respite.

“The providers, researchers and advocates from across South Carolina who served on the Long-Term Care Taskforce have worked together in exploring ways to improve our state’s system of long-term services and supports,” said Mr. Smith. “The recommendations of the taskforce represent the collective wisdom of those experts and provide actionable guidance for achieving needed improvements in the system. Their recommendations highlight opportunities to enhance current long-term care options for both older adults and people with disabilities and provide essential strategies to reshape the system to meet future demand.”

“Over the course of a lifetime, everyone will interact with the long-term care system, either as a consumer of services or a caregiver of a parent, child or friend,” stated report co-author Eleanor Stein. “When it comes to long-term care, we must recognize that we are all in this together. We must commit to addressing the challenges facing our system in order to ensure that we can all access the care and supports we need to live out our lives with dignity.”

Click here to view the full report and report brief.

For more information contact Eleanor Stein at eleanor@imph.org.

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© 2015 South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health