What’s missing from Long term Care (LTC) and elder care today ?
The missing components in Long term Care (LTC) elder care options in today's time, be it in hospital or in an elder care setting, are the lack of personal relationship one has with personal doctor and care team, and the continuity of care. Today, the choices for elder care are directed by our over reliance on insurance companies and big institutions and these institutions direct the care and services they consider worthwhile. Also, the participating doctors have to comply with the insurance company's standards so as to get paid for their service and for the insurance to pay for the services the patient receives. Things are rapidly changing including the medial professional, staff, as well as caregivers. This makes it extremely difficult to track who’s who along with the expectations and responsibilities of the people involved.
Often people have good relation with a doctor in their locality, but he or she might not be eligible to visit the patient in the hospital or in whatever care setting because of the rules and guidelines of the institution. This is quite a counterproductive system in comparison to old fashioned family doctor system, wherein doctor used to spend time with you and in fact had a personal relationship with nearly every patient. Therefore, doctor used to be the sole coordinator and was responsible for managing patients care and responsibility of the outcomes.
These LTC systems are a new type of closed system of care just like in hospitals and large institutional type settings that often leads to incoherent and incomplete care because of frequently changing doctors and staff. This makes it difficult to stay current on various issues to achieve the best outcome for an individual's care including emotional health, social issues and interaction or support from the family or social system.
It has been observed that families and people with chronic diseases including Alzheimer's Dementia, mobility, and COPD must have a consistent doctor and the care team as they can work together to deliver the best possible care to the patient during the stressful time.