Reimagining the Risk of Long-Term Care

In Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, Allison Hoffman argues that current U.S policy does not adequately address the needs of families facing prolonged illness. Hoffman notes that prolonged disability creates two types of insecurity – the insecurity faced by the disabled person, and the insecurity faced by the ill person’s caregivers – and argues that current policy only addresses the former. The author argues that, while attempting to mitigate risks faced by the recipient of care, current policy has expanded the insecurity of caregivers by reinforcing a structure of care that relies on informal caregiving. Furthermore, these risks are disproportionately experienced by already vulnerable populations, such as women, minorities, and the poor. Finally, Hoffman argues that we must understand the responsibility of being a long-term caregiver as a social risk, much as we do for those experiencing disability themselves.