Long-term care facilities face bleak future

Posted at 4:16 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 17:45:38-05

The rise in the aging population could take a toll on long-term care services across the state.

The Texas Health Care Association says that McLennan County’s 18 long-term care facilities could be in jeopardy and leave seniors at risk. They say that the facilities are already cash-strapped, and have been deprived of adequate funding for years.

The agency is asking lawmakers to take action to improve the quality of Texas nursing homes. According to the Texas Health Care Association, more than 14 percent of McLennan County’s population is over 65, and that number is expected to grow. By 2030, the number of aging Texans is expected to double. By 2050, the population of seniors is expected to climb again to 262 percent.

Increasingly complex medical conditions of aging Texas will further complicate issues with care. Data from the Alzheimer’s Association, over 380,000 of Texas residents have already developed the condition or other forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the state, and experts anticipate it to increase by nearly 30 percent by 2025. They say this will create a strain on the health care industry.

“Texans respect and value seniors,” said Kevin Warren, President and CEO of the Texas Health Care Association. “But Texas’ history of chronically underfunding long-term care is producing barriers to quality care and is setting up serious consequences as a Silver Tsunami of Baby Boomers looms on the horizon.”

Warren continued to say that this will create a burden for family caregivers.

The Texas Health Care Association says that local nursing homes are challenged with one of the lowest nursing home Medicaid reimbursement rates in the country. They say more than two-thirds of all residents in Texas nursing homes rely on Medicaid to cover their costs after depleting their assets.

The agency says that the cost of care leaves nursing home operators unable to raise wages to hire and retain staff.

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