One of the ways that we can make long-term services and supports (LTSS) more salient is to develop useful solutions that communities can understand, implement and keep improving over time. That means examining not only health care, but also shining a spotlight on the social determinants of health—housing, transportation, workforce and more—and thinking about how adequate (or inadequate) all of these services and supports are in particular geographic areas.
This requires a reconsideration of how we think about disabilities in old age—which are intrinsically about living well, not just about fixing a medical care gaps. We need to analyze medical and supportive services together—and use and develop metrics that aim to assess the performance of each community’s local service delivery system, and how well it performs for elders.
We hope these briefs offer a good start in stimulating such thinking.