The Biden administration has released a proposal to raise standards in nursing homes. Why one expert calls it the most significant development for the industry in decades -- and why it might still not be enough.
Americans are getting older. Much older. In 1900, we lived an average of 38 years. By 2000, our average lifespan had been extended by nearly four decades. And though recent years have seen a downturn in the trend, the 85 and older population is projected to more than double by 2040.
“We are not even close to prepared,” says M.T. Connolly, a lawyer and longtime elder rights advocate who in 2011 won a MacArthur Genius Grant for her work in the field.
She says our country’s policies and institutions have not kept pace with our advances in longevity. This mismatch, she adds, can result in serious harm for those living into old age, and those who care for them.
Connolly joined Diane to discuss her new book, “The Measure of Our Age: Navigating Care, Safety, Money, and Meaning Later in Life.” In it, she identifies the obstacles that prevent us from maintaining quality of life as we grow old, and what we as individuals – and as a society – can do about them.
- M.T. Connolly founding head of the Justice Department’s Elder Justice Initiative and author of "The Meaning of Our Age"
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