by Nick Passarelli RI
The Aging Pyramid is almost upside Down!
The 55 and older segment of our population is already one of the largest and the most rapidly growing segments of our population, and this is about to be impacted significantly by Baby Boomers.
Predictions: As the baby boomers move into old age, they will continue to influence the shape of the country’s population pyramid. A 2003 Library of Congress report suggested that U.S. life expectancy will continue to rise to 2050 and beyond; women aged 65 in 2025 can expect to live another 20 years, while men can expect an additional 17.5 years. As a result, the U.S. Census Bureau expects the baby boomer’s “bulge” to remain observable in the population pyramids for 2035, when the boomers will be aged between 70 and 90, and even as late as 2060, when the remaining boomers will be well into their nineties or even older.
What does this mean? Studies show that in the very near future this “Bulge” in the aging population will change the way we care for our elderly and this has already begun. We are living longer but as we age many of us require assistance with our care. In many cases Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) become challenging. These ADL’s would be defined as bathing, dressing, medication reminders, range of motion exercises, feeding or meal preparation and staying well hydrated. Maintaining these ADL’s are essential to sustaining an individual’s optimum level of wellness.
Recent studies show that there will not be nearly enough Long Term Care (Nursing Home and Rehab Facility Beds) to accommodate the aging population, nor is admission to a facility appropriate in many cases. Putting it quite simply our aging population must age in place, and what better place to be then at home, with loved ones and in one’s own community.
In my next column we will continue to discuss Home Care options for you or your loved one.
Nick Passarelli is a Registered Nurse, a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, a Certified Integrated Chronic Care Coordinator with over 37 years experience as a Long Term Care Professional, and is the owner of Phenix Home Care, Coventry Home Care and Capitol Home Care Network.