It’s no secret that the demographic in the United States is shifting. As the baby boomer generation ages and now reaches retirement, the percentage of seniors compared to the rest of the population is growing. It is expected to hit 20 percent within the next decade or so.
This has many advocates for elder care concerned, especially as it pertains to health and in-home care support services. As the demographic of seniors increases, it means there will be a smaller portion of adults actively in the workforce paying taxes, which are often used to support these aging seniors. It is going to place increased pressure on working men and women to help fund services these elderly people will require.
In Minnesota, for example, within the next 10 years, the total population of adults 65 and older in the state is expected to be higher than children between kindergarten age through high school graduation.
As noted in The Journal blog, MN Comfort offers in-home health care services for clients, written by Gage Cureton:
“According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, about 285,000 residents are expected to reach the age of 65 or older between the years of 2010 and 2020 — greater than the past four decades combined.
The total number of adults 65 or older is anticipated to double between 2010 and 2030. By that time, more than one in five Minnesotans will be an older adult.
By next year, Minnesota’s 65 and older population is expected to eclipse the kindergarten through twelth-grade [sic] [ages five to 17] population for the first time in history.”
It’s easy to dismiss percentages and demographics, but when put in comparison with another age group, the numbers can be quite striking. Because of this shift in Minnesota, there are concerns among home care and elderly advocates that there will not be enough funding and fiscal resources to provide the care and support these aging men and women will need in the next two or three decades.
65 has long been considered the retirement age in the United States, though for men and women to begin drawing on Social Security, the retirement age had been raised to 67 and it is anticipated it might rise again to 69 or even 70 years of age.
Still, when the demographic of seniors increases to this level, it simply places more fiscal pressure on the rest of the adults in the state or the country. It’s unclear how this will truly impact seniors’ ability to receive adequate home care support, but in light of repeated cuts and proposals of cuts through Medicare and Medicaid for in-home care support, the impact will likely be significant.
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