Where Will All The People Go?
We have all heard the statistics about the baby boomer population; at the end of World War II, more babies were born in 1946 than ever before: 3.4 million, 20 percent more than in 1945. This was the beginning of the so-called “baby boom.” In 1947, another 3.8 million babies were born; 3.9 million were born in 1952; and more than 4 million were born every year from 1954 until 1964, when the boom finally tapered off. By then, there were 76.4 million “baby boomers” in the United States. They made up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population. Today, the oldest baby boomers are already in their 60s. By 2030, about one in five Americans will be older than 65, and some experts believe that the aging of the population will place a strain on social welfare and housing systems.
According to a paper written by The National Center for Biotechnology Information: the real challenges of caring for the elderly in 2030 will involve: (1) making sure society develops payment and insurance systems for long-term care that work better than existing ones, (2) taking advantage of advances in medicine and behavioral health to keep the elderly as healthy and active as possible, (3) changing the way society organizes community services so that care is more accessible, and (4) altering the cultural view of aging to make sure all ages are integrated into the fabric of community life.
The experts say that in just a few short years, as the population of baby boomers retires, long-term care of the elderly will become a national crisis. In fact, it’s estimated that 70 percent of Americans who reach the age of 65 will need some kind of long-term care for at least three years during their lifetime.
On the health care front, seniors with chronic conditions like heart disease, kidney problems, respiratory ailments and obesity utilize high volumes of complex health care services – roughly 84 percent of U.S. health care dollars and 99 percent of Medicare spending. Strengthening the collaborative bonds between health and housing must become an urgent national priority as we prepare for the demographic changes ahead.
WE have looked at the economy and the challenges for care, but what about you? What do you need to do to prepare yourself for retirement and any medical issues that may arise. We all want to think that we will be healthy until the end, but we all know that is unrealistic and being prepared is the smartest thing to do!
A Senior Connection
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