What We Heard
Accessible and affordable community and health services are crucial in keeping community members healthy, independent and active. This includes, but is not limited to, adequate provision of senior-care services located close to where older people live and trained health professionals and social or therapeutic counselors to provide these services.
Adults have different health care needs and preferences as they age. A range of services along the full continuum of care – including preventive care, nutrition and wellness programs, providers trained in geriatrics, hospitals, adult day centers, respite care, rehabilitation, nursing home care, home care and palliative care, is needed to meet these diverse needs. Ideally, these services should be in places convenient for all residents to reach and with appointments available in a reasonable time frame.
All clients or patients must be treated with respect and close attention. Residential care services, such as adult day health or nursing homes, should be located within residential areas, to allow the residents being cared for to remain connected to their familiar surroundings and make it easier for family and friends to visit. Social services should also be easily accessible to those who need them. Efforts to reduce stigma and other barriers to accepting services are necessary.
Education and centralized information on available health and wellness services and how to pay for them, would raise awareness of community care options. Health services should be affordable, to provide residents with peace of mind that they will receive care, regardless of the ability to pay.
Goals at a Glance
- Improve the health-related quality of life by enabling greater access and utilization of existing programs and establishment of new services through:
- Targeted communications
- Development of a catalog or other compilation of community resources
- Raising awareness among social service and health providers about existing services
- Identifying and addressing gaps in the social service and health provider network.
- Identify and address health inequities and reduce health disparities.
- Improve health literacy.
- Address the social determinants of health.
- Work toward a more holistic quality of life for all – not simply the absence of illness or disability.
- Encourage the adoption of the Village model to provide a better support system for aging in place and in community.