America’s Growing Senior Population: Assessing the Dimensions of the Demographic Challenge

Source: Bipartisan Policy Center, Health and Housing Task Force, Background Paper, September 2015

From the summary:
….In April 2014, BPC also launched the Long-Term Care Initiative to develop policy recommendations to improve financing mechanisms and delivery of long-term services and supports, including better integration across the Medicaid and Medicare programs. In May 2015, BPC‘s Prevention Task Force released policy recommendations focusing on opportunities to better integrate non-clinical health and social-service interventions with the delivery system as a means to help prevent costly and debilitating consequences of chronic disease.

Building upon past and ongoing BPC projects, the task force will focus its work in the following areas:
– Identifying cost-effective ways to modify U.S. homes and communities to make independent living for seniors safe and viable.
– Increasing the supply of affordable housing for seniors, particularly housing with supportive services.
– Identifying barriers to the integration of acute care and home- and community-based services in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and exploring how to scale up successful models of care so that seniors can remain at home or in the community.
– Highlighting best practices for integrating housing and health drawn from a range of politically diverse states and localities.
– Identifying opportunities for further programmatic collaboration between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve outcomes and promote greater efficiencies.

Fulfilling these objectives first requires an understanding of the dimensions of the demographic challenge the nation faces. The following pages attempt to provide some of this context.