Yvonne Abraham’s Sunday column expressing concerns regarding the quality of care at a Hyde Park nursing home is an important reminder that these facilities are not so-called investments (“The future of elder care?” Metro). The vast majority of our facilities provide extraordinary care every day to more than 40,000 frail elderly and disabled citizens in Massachusetts. Abraham issues a general warning that we should heed: “Behold the grim future of elder care in America, if we don’t watch it.”
With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, the expectation is that there will be a high-quality long-term care system waiting for them when they need specialized health care services. But a national health care study released this month ranks Massachusetts fourth-worst in the nation for Medicaid reimbursement, shorting our facilities by more than $300 million annually and directly threatening the quality of care.
The plight of one facility, while important, should not obscure the larger issue of how we are going to fund and stabilize this critical safety net for our frail elders — those who need these services now and those who come after them.