By Richard M. Scheffler, Ola Abdelhadi | Published April 21, 2023 in Oxford Academic | Link to Full Article
Older Americans have unique health needs that require specialized care and support. As people age, they are more likely to develop multiple chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis, which can greatly affect their quality of life (Boyd et al., 2019). Additionally, older adults may also experience physical and cognitive declines, which can make it difficult for them to manage their own healthcare. Access to healthcare and supportive services is crucial for older Americans to maintain their health and independence. Services such as home healthcare, nursing homes, and hospice care play a vital role in helping older adults lead fulfilling lives and maintain their quality of life for as long as possible. The majority of hospice patients are diagnosed with one or more chronic conditions, with cancer being the most common (29.6%), followed by circulatory or heart disease (17.4%) and dementia (15.6%) (Hospice Facts & Figures, 2020). Meanwhile, as the American population of persons aged 65 years and over will soon outnumber those under 18 year of age, there are concerns about the quality of care for older Americans as the healthcare industry shifts towards private equity (PE) ownership (Braun, Stevenson, et al., 2021).