Career Outlook

Gerontology is one of the fastest growing disciplines within the field of Health and Human Services. Current demographic projections indicate that some states will experience a doubling of the population over the age of 65 by the year 2020; furthermore, of all age groups, the group over age 85, the oldest old, is increasing at the greatest rate. Not only will there be greater numbers of older persons by 2020, they will be increasingly single, female, and ethnically diverse. This book helps to prepare the reader for effective performance in a career of service to older Americans. It also lays a firm academic foundation in applied gerontology for students who choose to work toward a degree. Students have the opportunity to choose a number of career paths in the field of aging within the public and private sectors.

Long-term care administration (LTCA) is a career opportunity in a period of expansion and diversification. Professional requirements vary widely depending on state and federal regulations for the specific area of administration. Long-term care administrators manage and direct the daily operations of long-term care facilities. Employment opportunities for long-term care administrators are available and may be found in assisted living communities, geriatric care centers, home health care agencies, hospice facilities, hospital systems, rehabilitation facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly, retirement communities, senior centers, skilled nursing facilities, special population programs (mental health), etc.

Learning Achievements

The following are just a few learning outcomes that you will achieve as a result of reading this book:

  • Define the current long-term care continuum, including how it developed and its key strengths and weaknesses.  Define the term “continuum of care.”  Identify and define the consumers and providers of long-term care.  Define institutional and noninstitutional care and the strengths and shortcomings of each.
  • Identify the characteristics of an ideal long-term care system, with particular attention to accessibility, quality, and cost.  Describe what it means for the long-term care system to be consumer-driven, including an understanding of the rights of consumers and the responsibilities that go along with those rights.  Identify the roles of formal and informal caregivers and ways for those resources to be coordinated.
  • Understand why there is need for external control of long-term care (state accreditation, certification, licensure).
  • Understand how long-term care services are reimbursed.  Identify and define key public sources of reimbursement, including Medicare and Medicaid.

We hope you benefit from reading this first comprehensive reference for long-term care administrators in the United States.  Please enjoy it!