Don’t be afraid of creativity!
Sticking to the beaten track and conventional ways of thinking hinder better healthcare service offers for people in need of care and thus let opportunities slip away. Legislative shackles are increasingly leading to a “one-class system”, exacerbating the loss of individuality.
“The systematic separation of out-patient and in-patient care is becoming a veritable paradigm for policy makers and cost-bearers, yet there are numerous concepts that would enable the development and realization of a wide range of trend-setting offers for care and living arrangements,” says Carsten Brinkmann, TERRANUS Supervisory Board Chairman.
This would require reducing bureaucracy and silo mentality while fostering a creative approach to modern forms of living with needs-based service portfolios and care services. This, in turn, would allow the elderly and people in need of care to decide for themselves when, where, and for how long they use what service and care offers. At the latest when the Baby Boomer generation requires care, the number of seniors with ample financial resources as well as the people who depend on long-term government support will increase considerably.
The uniform system in place puts everyone on the same stage regardless of their individual care level, personal preferences and predilections. The crux of the matter is that due to the negotiated care rates, operators cannot differentiate prices and offers. “Quality and care services are so heavily regulated by cost-bearers and policy makers that ultimately only a standard offer can be realized, without consideration of personal needs,” says Carsten Brinkmann.
Individuality instead of “one-class system”
In order to accommodate the different lifestyles and needs of customers, the “one-class system” would have to become more flexible. While maintaining statutory quality standards, providers and operators could more strongly diversify care offerings and prices, pursue innovative approaches and meet market needs. It would be a win-win situation for everyone, as more private capital would be in play, leading to the financial relief of people with low income and allowing more varied offers for residents with more resources.
Dramatic shortage of housing and care places
And these private resources are urgently needed in light of demographic developments, because the relation between the growing number of people in need of care and the decline in new age-appropriate housing and care infrastructure continues to become more skewed. Let’s take the example of nursing homes: for 18 years, on average 280 new facilities were created annually. In the last three years, this number dropped to a meager 150 even though the reduction of double rooms is leading to a further supply shortage of around ten percent. In addition, many older properties with poor equipment, lack of infrastructure or poor framework conditions must be replaced.
Take the example of age-appropriate housing. For years, the housing industry has failed to provide enough housing that is affordable and has a lay-out that meets market need. Although this applies to the entire population, it is even more acute for seniors, who have hardly any alternatives due to their age-related restrictions. In light of this shortage and lack of care infrastructure, an individual lifestyle in spite of age restrictions is out of the question.
Living and care á la carte
“With more freedom of design, new living, support and care structures would be created for all demands, from standard to comfort, comparable to the hotel sector,” says Carsten Brinkmann. “Customers could choose different forms of housing and care with flexible service concepts – both out-patient and in-patient. This would result in better financing, more offers and above all individual freedom to shape the future.”