Life Care: A Long-Term Solution? Chellis RD, Grayson PJ, Lexington, Ma, Lexington Books, 1990, 388 pages, hardcover.
With the aging of America has come a host of entrepreneurial responses to the quest for alternate living options for elders. Life Care is one such response. Life Care is an insurance-based, private sector, continuing care option that the authors suggest is potentially within the financial means of about 75% of older Americans. The Life Care model provides "housing, services, social programs, health care, and insurance in one package." This book offers an in-depth overview of the Life Care model and guidelines for operational izing it.
The book begins with a brief history of the development of continuing care communities, affordability factors, and suggestions regarding the government's role in providing help for establishing and operating such care options. The book progresses to ethical and health policy considerations related to Life Care for elders, such as technologies, undertreatment, and overeare.
Next, developing and marketing Life Care are explored. An overview of tasks to be completed when developing a Life Care community is presented and supplemented by time lines for critical elements. Components of a marketing strategy are reviewed. The concept of market research is broken down into basic definitions and techniques and is illustrated by case studies. Aspects of capital and operations funding are then defined and clearly discussed. Special risk factors in establishing and operating a Life Care model are summarized.
Environmental design considerations and innovative technology are examined. Canada's "Compendium of Needs" framework and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs provide the basis for principles of design for Life Care settings. These principles will be welcomed by anyone involved in establishing or remodeling home or institutional settings to accommodate the physiological, psychological, and social needs of older persons. Enabling environments such as those that exist in Denmark, Sweden, Japan, and Switzerland are described and illustrated to demonstrate incorporation of technology to enhance independence and convenience. Examples include such items as a toilet seat lifting mechanism, a walk-in bathtub, and a remote control system for heat, light, door locks, and reminder audios ("The stove has been left on") that is operated from the bed or chair. Entire room and facility designs are discussed.
Two chapters are devoted to longterm care insurance. In one, options for linking such insurance with capital gains, down-payments, or principal payments are proposed as alternatives to the present method of financing such protection. In the other, a discussion of self versus private insurance for funding Life Care centers provides an insightful look at the emerging insurance issue and will help developers clarify factors related to this critical choice.
An appendix reviews a series of Life Care workshops on the topics of marketing, design, development, insurance, finance, management, and residents. Participant exchange, questions/answers, and speaker summaries highlight key considerations of Life Care from a variety of perspectives.
Life Care: A Long- Term Solution gives an excellent overview of historical, planning, developing, and operating considerations of this continuing care option. It is an easy-to-read, well-organized, and comprehensive reference manual.