The social needs of older adults are multifaceted, diverse and, more often than not, unmet. This is especially true for older adults living with disabilities, low incomes or multiple chronic conditions. For many, day-to-day mobility is restricted to the community or the home, limiting their access to elder care services outside the scope of either.

Fortunately, emergent solutions such as person-centered long-term care are helping caregivers accommodate the full complexity of the people they serve. There is no escaping the fact, however, that it will take systems-level change for a solution so individualized to reach the entirety of an aging population. A new report published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine proposes a paradigm shift that might just fit the bill — the integration of social care and medical care.

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Originally published on McKnight’s Senior Living (March 2, 2020)