How Long Has Elder Health Care Been an Issue?
Before the nineteenth century, families took care of their elderly. It was mostly simple, and if there was a need for doctors and nurses (and if the families could afford them), they would be sent to the homes of family members who can take care of them. When the nineteenth century began, organizations by women and churches started assisted care centers and nursing homes for the elderly. These centers and nursing homes had entrance fees to fund facilities, and they soon developed into private businesses by the 1930s. It became more difficult for economically disadvantaged people to benefit from the said institutions when these centers, nursing homes and insurance companies became private businesses,.
Elder Health Care in a Capitalist World
The shift from the traditional way (in which elderly health is handled by family members) to the modern way (in which elderly health is handled by institutions and/or insurances) has truly affected how people deal with elderly health. The modern ways have unarguably provided better ways of caring for the elderly, but it also posed more problems.
Before benevolent centers and homes turned into profit-making establishments, the centers and homes had volunteers. When these centers and homes became private businesses, the volunteers had to get paid which means that assisting the elderly would be considered work for them. To money and/or career-oriented individuals this would seem like good news; but in reality there is very little incentive for people to work in centers and homes. The pay can be quite low in comparison to what people can earn from other jobs, and those other jobs tend to have less work hours. Due to this, people rarely go for jobs at care centers and nursing homes. This and the costs of new technology and facility improvements cause services from centers and homes to be too impractical and expensive for most.
The number of those who can get elderly health insurance is also limited. One factor would be a person’s financial status. Private businesses have experienced rapid growth in expenditure alongside gradual global economic recession. National debts have also affected public government-supported insurances. These factors lead to a shortage which in turn makes insurances less affordable. Another factor is unemployment and underemployment of the people who need insurance. Companies generally prefer to hire younger people. This, in turn, leaves the older people with less-satisfactory jobs or to even become jobless.
It can be said that elderly health care has been an issue since elderly people experienced medical complications, but the issue on elderly health care has grown even more since it took on a more modern and capitalistic approach. It can be seen that since the twentieth century, elderly health care had given rise to problems to the government and private businesses as well as to the elderly and the family, unlike in the past where only the elderly person’s family had to carry the burden of their elder’s health.