Daring to disprove the adage you can’t tell a book by its cover, the California Senate Select Committee on Aging and Long Term Care published A Shattered System: Reforming Long-Term Care in California: Envisioning and Implementing an IDEAL Long-Term Care System in California.
The report weaves a dramatic tale of impending doom, broken dreams and wishful thinking. A mix of new, old and reorganized strategies is proposed with a goal to make long-term care more affordable and accessible.
As with all “aging” studies, statistics are liberally cited to justify the urgency of the situation. Such as, Over 5.1 million persons age 65 and over will call California home by 2015. … that number will grow to 8.4 million by 2030 – or nearly one-fifth of the population.” Though often impressive, the numbers do conjure Vin Scully’s cautionary note, “Statistics are used like a drunk uses a lamppost – for support, not illumination.”
It’s just that it’s hard to be too optimistic the report will generate any more action than similar documents and task forces over the past decade. The conceit in spreading fear and tossing about statistics is thinking their shock and awe will translate to action.
The best to hope for is that sooner than later legislators will prove another adage, “Action speaks louder than words.”