Navigating Long-Term Care: How Navigation Hubs Would Help Older Adults and Their Families
Where Am I, Where Do I Go: The Missing Entry Point to Long-Term Care Solutions for Older Adults and Their Caregivers – Released September 2022
In early 2022, Nexus Insights brought together long-term care providers, caregiver advocates, tech-driven start ups and policy experts to discuss how to help older adults and their caregivers better navigate the complex and fragmented array of long-term care and aging services. This report released in September 2022 details the challenges older adults and their families face and the need for navigational centers, or hubs, to support these individuals as they make critical decisions, often under stressful conditions, about their care needs.
When an older adult experiences a healthcare or other life crisis that makes their current living situation no longer safe or appropriate, they and their caregivers often must make important decisions quickly. What awaits them, however, is a maze of dead ends, wrong way streets, and twists and turns that stand in the way of getting the help they need in a timely manner. All too often, older adults and their families are left to find their way alone on what becomes a terrifying, frustrating, and lonely journey.
Key to solving this problem are navigational centers, or hubs, to serve as central doorways to existing supports and services—whether it’s home-based care, transportation or meal services, senior housing or nursing home care. The hubs should have a national presence but a local focus with counselors, or navigators, who understand the resources available in their communities and how to help older adults and their families access them.
The Four Primary Responsibilities of Navigation Hubs
- Discover & Assess the long-term care needs of older adults, their families, and caregivers.
- Educate older adults, their families and caregivers on the housing and caregiving support available to them as well as funding sources.
- Select & Connect older adults with the best long-term care setting, supports, and services that meet their needs.
- Reevaluate the needs of older adults as their health and financial statuses change.