Louisiana ranks low in long-term care of older residents
Michelle Southern Reporting
According to a new state-by-state scorecard released by AARP, Louisiana ranks 37th in the nation when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents. Andrew Muhl, director of advocacy for AARP Louisiana, says the bottom line is that family caregivers need more help.
"They're the backbone of the current long-term care system, but they can't do it all," said Muhl. "Sometimes they don't know what help is available and they often risk their own health and financial security so we need to do more to help our caregivers."
The scorecard, which is an update from 2011, ranks each state overall within 26 performance indicators on long-term services and supports for older adults, people with physical disabilities and family caregivers.
Muhl says the low scoring on many of means it's important the state offer choices for people to stay in their home.
"I think that people aren't getting the care that they need in institutions, yet we keep shifting dollars to those institutions," said Muhl. "So we're shifting our funds away from quality and putting it more towards low quality and more expensive nursing home care."
Muhl says most Louisianians want to live independently at home as they age, most with the help of unpaid family caregivers.
He says more needs to be done to help older residents achieve that goal.