Right now in the United States there are currently 44 million people over the age of 65. By 2030, that population is expected to nearly double to 78 million people. Long term care facilities, in home care, and independent living will all become more popular trends over the next 20 years. Currently there are nearly 1.5 million seniors in nursing homes, and nearly 940,000 in assisted living facilities. Nearly six million seniors receive some form of in home care (mainly from a family member). Our nations seniors, at some point or another, must turn to some form of nursing care in order to survive.
When seniors become ill, families have a difficult time deciding what’s next for their loved ones. Sometimes in home care or independent living facilities are a viable option. Maybe your senior just needs a simple care giver to come and do simple tasks around the house each day for them. But after a fall, or a severe injury, placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility becomes nearly imminent. As we enter further into the 21st century, our country’s average age is only on the rise. Does our country have the capacity currently to handle the aging population over the next 10 years? The answer is no – The current number of beds currently in our assisted living facilities and nursing homes does not match the predictions on the amount of people who will be needing nursing care in 2020.
Baby Boomers Aging
The Baby Boomer population which is those who were born between 1946-1964 is the nation’s largest generation. This aging generation can expect the following over the next 20 years:
- Increased costs of nursing home care
- Increase costs of In home care
- Decreased Medicaid funding because of Obama care
- Overall lower quality of care because of overcrowded and understaffed facilities
The 85+ population is expected to reach over 6.9 million by 2020. Facilities and nursing care providers face difficult challenges moving into the coming years. With increasing numbers of potential patients, does our country have enough nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in home care providers to take care of all of our aging population? Or will an already crippled nursing home system, plagued by under staffing, be able to adjust to the rising senior population and finally provide adequate quality of living across the board.