In a trend expected to continue over the next few decades, Americans are getting older and living longer. The senior living industry will be hit hard with the increasing elder population. Here are a few of the issues and trends they will see.
Census Bureau projections anticipate that the over sixty-five age group will increase by nearly five million to almost 40 million. Even more astounding, it is expected to double to 70 million by 2030. The over 85 age group will double as well to almost 9 million by 2030.
The main concern about the growing population of older adults is the demand on the healthcare system. More than 85 percent of people age 65 and older have hypertension, diabetes or blood lipid disorders due to chronic disease. Pharmaceutical and healthcare costs will increase pressure on public and private insurance solutions and the new healthcare overhaul leaves many factors still to be determined.
Above all, chronic disease prevention and management will become a prevalent topic in senior living homes. Whether in independent living centers, assisted living, or nursing homes, the main challenge and goal of senior living professionals is to provide a high quality of care for a growing population that ensures seniors live as autonomously and comfortably as possible. This includes a multi-faceted approach involving end-of-life care plans, chronic pain management and a cooperative approach by caregivers, nurses and doctors who make up their healthcare teams.
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Source: The National Academies Press