AOL Founder Tackles Health

Taking control of our own health earlier in our lives is essential to the health and financial future of our country, Minnesota and long term care, especially as we approach the age wave. If we can keep people healthier longer, we can help them live longer in their own homes and hold down public costs for expensive long term care. The average cost in the U.S. for assisted living is $35,000 per year; a nursing home is about $75,000 annually. Most nursing home costs are paid by the government through Medicaid.Steven Case, founder of AOL, is combining technology with people’s desire for more personal control over their future. Last Thursday he launched According to CBS Marketwatch, his goal is to make health care resources, services and products easy to find and use so people will track their health just as they track their stocks online.Case says he’s targeting women in this venture, as they’re seen as most often the ‘keepers of health’ in the household. An area that would be very beneficial for Case to add to this site would be resources on long term care. Many of these baby boomer women he’s focusing upon are caring for their parents as well as their children.It could include information on what to ask a home care company, assisted living community, nursing home or other senior housing community when shopping for such services; how to pay for long term care if needed; a checklist to consider when trying to keep a parent as independent as possible … and other questions that are increasingly on baby boomers’ and others’ minds. Long term care providers also could provide such a site and really become the local knowledge broker for people.People turn to the net in droves. Of Internet users, 80%, or about 113 million adults, have researched a health topic online, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a Washington nonprofit that looks at the social impacts of the Internet. Technology is only going to play a bigger impact in giving us more control in taking care of ourselves and aging successfully.