Plan Today, Prepare For Tomorrow
Based on the latest America’s Health Rankings 2019 Senior Report, Hawaii leads the nation as the healthiest state for seniors. The report ranks each state on measurements that evaluate determinants of health. The results rate Hawaii high in arthritis management, dental visits, low rates of obesity, preventable hospitalizations, and nursing home quality.
Drivers of these positive outcomes stem from the Affordable Care Act healthcare changes which opened the doors to encourage collaboration between acute hospital care with post-care providers. As a result of this continuous and evolving healthcare environment, there is a shift which is driving seniors to receive more care at home. Factors that propel this trend and shift in care are:
• Healthcare regulatory reform and shifting payment models
• Desire for seniors to remain at home
• Rising cost of post-acute and long-term care services (limited Medicare coverage)
While hospitals have routinely worked with skilled (post-acute) providers, the senior living industry is ideally positioned to offer integrated prevention services, wellness solutions and strategies to be strong post-acute partners to hospital health systems. For the past 20 years senior living communities have been steadily building quality metrics around the concepts of healthy lifestyles, managing chronic conditions and social determinants of care.
The good news is that the healthcare reform and the change in payment models are shifting care to a “home setting” which includes senior living communities. The downside is, the demand in Hawaii continues to exponentially increase with many senior living communities reporting waitlist – some as long as 2 to 5 years. Affordability is often an issue with most average income families priced out of having the option to move to an assisted living community. Despite these challenges there are alternative “home setting” options such as modifying your home to age-in-place called universal home design which will provide you the preference to receive home health nursing care.
According to Shari Motooka-Higa, Certified Senior Advisor and Vice President at Engel & Völkers, it is important to work with professionals that have strong partnerships and can collaborate with senior health advisors to ensure the right transition for you or your loved ones. The level of care coupled with where you select to receive the care may be the difference between whether insurance will cover your health services, or you will need to use personal funds to cover the large long-term care expense.
Emerging technology is another driver in this shift. Home health technology and devices which include telehealth allow real-time communication between physician and patient, adding convenience without the need for face-to-face check-ups. Millennials welcome technology as essential tools to help stay connected allowing them the ability to check-in, to ensure the safety and well-being of their aging parents.
Kay Mukaigawa, President and Principal Broker of Engel & Völkers Honolulu, shares when considering steps to creating a long term care plan, the research and education should be made early while you are still capable of making key decisions. Waiting for a health occurrence or episode, may negatively limit important choices that are available to you. These decisions can be overwhelming! The Realtor has a vital role in your transition. Understanding the distinctions of various senior communities, the specialized health areas (levels of care), ability to walk a senior and family through the process, knowledge of alternative options and coordination between your home and where you plan to be your next residence can minimize stress and unforeseen issues.
The team at Engel & Völkers Honolulu has dedicated their time to educate the senior community and their families to prepare and be informed on the options that are available.
We blend years of real estate experience with a network of top senior professionals (i.e. health, legal, financial) that can clearly assist with mapping out the choices based on your needs and budget. The group prides themselves on education and provide a series of complimentary seminars on a monthly basis.