There will be twice as many older persons aged 65 and older as there are now outnumbering young people aged 15 to 24 by the year 2050. Addressing the 'Working Group on Ageing' at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the UN, said that more than ever, older people need stronger protection to enjoy their human rights fully.
"But the reality is that international legal frameworks – which should protect everybody, without discrimination – still render older persons invisible," said Bachelet.
Bachelet called for action to end violence, neglect, and abuse of older persons, where the quality of health services, including long-term health care, are easily accessible.
"We should ask ourselves: what kind of world do we want to live in by then? I would like to imagine a world where older persons everywhere are guaranteed to live a life of dignity with economic security," Bachelet explained.
Older People Still Contribute to Society
Bachelet says we live in a world where older people can continue working and contributing to society for as long as they wish and are able to. She says older people can live independently and make their own decisions.
However, she noted that a majority of the six million lives lost to COVID-19, were older people.
"The crisis has exposed and deepened critical human rights protection gaps for older persons," she said.
Bachelet says that age-related discrimination creates and exacerbates poverty and marginalization and amplifies human rights risks.
"Older persons have been left at the edges of society at the time when they are most in need of our support," said Bachelet.
Elderly in Ukraine and Other War-Torn Regions at High Risk
She took aim at Russia's invasion of Ukraine, where older people face a particularly appalling humanitarian situation.
"Long-term care facilities are suffering a lack of food, heating, electricity, water, and medication. Many residents who have chronic health conditions rely on others for care and are struggling to access bomb shelters or safe areas," she explained.
Bachelet pointed out that violence against older women and the lack of access to medical care and mental health and psychosocial support services had severely impacted health in Ethiopia's war-wracked Tigray region.
"And in Syria, older persons continue to suffer the consequences of destroyed and damaged health infrastructure," she said.
Strengthening the human rights of older people is an urgent imperative that she says we must strive towards. She said that their rights have suffered from inadequate protection for too long, and they continue to be overlooked and neglected in national policies.
Ageism is "woven into the very fabric of life" of older persons, said Ms. Bachelet, and is all-pervasive.
"The stereotypes resulting from ageism and discrimination are counterproductive and can even be dangerous. They significantly contribute to the vulnerability of older persons and are one of the main obstacles to their enjoyment of human rights," Bachelet said.
Currently, she said, none of the UN human rights treaties contain any specific provision on age discrimination or ageism.
World Getting Older
The UN says that virtually every country in the world will experience a substantial increase in the size of the population aged 60 years or over between 2015 and 2030.
With increasing longevity, the risk of chronic disease rises along with age-related disabilities. These disabilities include chronic diseases such as pulmonary disease and diabetes, age-related loss of hearing, sight, and movement (arthritis), cognitive illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer's, and injuries from falls.
The UN says that as the number of older persons grows along with their longevity, the need for long-term health care will increase significantly for those aged 80 and over, especially for older women who live longer.
The number of people aged 80 and above is estimated to grow to 434 million in 2050. As people get older, their risk of needing basic help with daily living activities and supervision due to dementia increases dramatically.
Dementia and Alzheimer's Increasing Worldwide
The number of people with dementia and Alzheimer's continues to grow, leading to an additional demand for long-term health care. The incidence of dementia worldwide is projected to grow to 75 million in 2030.
In the United States, nearly 40 percent of the population aged 85 years and older suffer from Alzheimer's and dementia.
Forty-eight percent of older people are not covered by any type of formal benefits; 46% are excluded from any coverage that does exist by some form of means-testing, and only 5.6% of older people worldwide are covered by legislation that provides coverage for all.
Medicaid Biggest Payor of Long-Term Care in the U.S.
In the United States, Medicaid will pay for long-term health care, but only the care recipient has little or no income and assets. Traditional health insurance and Medicare, including supplements, pay for a very limited amount of skilled care services.
Long-Term Care Insurance is available in the U.S.; however, some people decide not to look into obtaining coverage until it's too late as these policies are medically underwritten and require reasonably good health to get coverage. As a result, many families find themselves in a crisis, and the consequences of family and finances dramatically impact the entire family.
Long-Term Health Care Costs Skyrocketing
Plus, long-term health care costs are rising worldwide because of greater demand for services and higher labor costs. For example, labor shortages have curtailed services in long-term care facilities in the U.S. and Canada, and home health agencies have difficulty finding staff for everyone who needs care.
The cost of long-term health care services depends on location and the required type of services. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows the current and future costs of care based on where a person lives - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
Longevity and the problem of aging and declining health are global problems that impact families in many ways. Many people ignore the problem when they could plan for it making it easier on their pocketbooks and reducing the stress and burdens otherwise placed on their families.
In the U.S., more people are aware of the consequences of long-term health care, and while an increasing number of people are planning, most still do not. Most people who obtain Long-Term Care Insurance are in their 50s, but insurance companies offer policies for those younger and older, as long as they have relatively good health. Every insurance company has its own underwriting rules and pricing.
About the Author
Contributor since April 22nd, 2021
Are you prepared for your aging? The consequences have a tremendous impact on family and finances. Access to your choice of quality care options, be it at home or in a long-term care facility, will ease the stress on both you and your family.
Quality long-term health care is expensive and gets more costly each year. Long-Term Care Insurance provides guaranteed tax-free funds so you can access quality care in the setting you desire. Your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of caregivers.
Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.
Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS
You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Get Expert Help in Planning
Experts recommend seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find the right coverage. A specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right coverage at the right price.
Long-term care is a very specialized area, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise. Seek the help of a specialist who represents the top companies. Top specialists will often have over 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance, some in the thousands. This experience is necessary as every company has its own underwriting criteria. Plus, premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies.
A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad
Start by reading our four guides -
- Finding Quality In-Home Care | LTC News
- Adult Day Care Centers (ADCCs) | LTC News
- Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities | LTC News
- Finding a Quality Nursing Home | LTC News
If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea.
Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim
Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation.
Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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