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Caring About Long-Term Care: An Ethical Framework for Caregiving

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Abstract:

The United States is ill-equipped to handle the current demand for long-term care, and the growing elderly population will only exacerbate these strains. It is therefore vital to explore the range of concerns raised by the current system of caregiving now and create an ethical framework for addressing the issues.

A strong ethical framework for discussing and understanding long-term care—as well as evaluating programs and practices—will provide a foundation for meeting the needs of the dependent elderly and their caregivers, and serve as a guide for policymaking.

This report outlines seven ethical principles of caregiving that can help guide policy makers and other stakeholders in their efforts to ensure that the country meets its obligations to the dependent elderly and their caregivers. From this principled foundation, we can better envision and design specific policy strategies.