AFFORDABLE ELDER CARE
We have a responsibility to ensure that our seniors have the resources they need to live out their golden years with dignity. Seniors and people with disabilities need access to affordable, reliable long-term care. When we take care of our seniors, their decades of wisdom and experience strengthen our families and communities.
As the share of Iowa’s elderly population continues to grow, providing adequate elder care will become an even greater concern than it is today. Today, over 514,000 Iowa citizens are 65 years of age or older; by 2050 that number is projected to grow to over 677,000. The average cost for assisted living elder care in Iowa is $3,847 per month.
Elder caregiving in America
The cost of elder care, and the increasing share of older Americans among the population means that there is and will continue to be a gap between demand and supply for elder caregivers. An estimated half of current elder caregivers are employed, meaning that working people must balance the needs of their employers against the needs of elderly family members.
Providing care for elderly family can be a rewarding and meaningful experience, but it can also take a physical and mental toll. A lack of access to paid family and medical leave for caregivers complicates their situations even further, leading to many caregivers losing income or career opportunities.
The future of elder care in Iowa
Working people in Iowa need confidence that the elderly in our state will be cared for with compassion. We need access to patient-centered care options that don’t bankrupt families, or ask working people to make impossible choices between caring for the elderly or themselves. We need to support caregivers, and make sure that our elderly citizens have all the resources they need to live as part of their communities with dignity.
Older Iowans, 2018. State Data Center of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Aging.
Families Caring for an Aging America: Report in Brief, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine (2016).
Family Caregiving to the Older Population: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service (2009).
Together, we can build a healthier, more affordable Iowa.