Two organizations that represent the elderly says their study shows most Iowans over the age of 50 don’t have a plan for long-term healthcare. Mark Haveland is the director of the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs. He says we’re in huge denial on the issue. Haveland says there are stories all the time about people not being prepared. He says it’s not atypical to get to be 88 or 89-years old and your daughter flies in from Seattle and it’s the first conversation you’ve had with her about what to do. He says it’s a great waste of resources to make decisions like that in a time of crisis. The survey shows that a majority of Iowans mistakenly believe Medicare and their health insurance will cover long-term care. A-A-R-P research analyst Anita Stowell says there’s a stigma for some in asking for financial assistance. She says the thing that was the most compelling was the role that shame, and keeping independence played in keeping people from assistance. She says the survey asked if people would be able to seek public assistance if they needed help, and more than half said “no”. Stowell says the system has to change.The A-A-R-P is making recommendations for the long-term care industry based on the results of the survey. They suggest better education for the public and health care providers. They also suggest easier access to financial aid and more affordable nursing home or in-home services. The study was funded through a federal grant.
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