As the U.S. economy has struggled during the “Great Recession” the manner in which seniors receive and seek care is being transformed as well. These changes coexist with changes and advances in geriatric medicine, and the lengthening of life spans here in the United States.
The manner in which an aging population is cared for given this combination of better health and longevity combined with tighter financial conditions should be of great concern to everyone currently living in the United States. What exactly will be the future of senior care in the United States? Will seniors continue to be cared for adequately, or are we on a dangerous slope?
Predictions For The Near Future
Here are some predictions regarding the future of senior care here in the United States:
Nursing homes will continue to decline in popularity, while independent and assisted living facilities will become more popular along with assisted home care options.
Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as well as the increasing costs of nursing care in the United States, have and will continue to continue this shift. Institutes like the Employee Benefits Research Institution have determined that nearly half of those born between the years of 1949 and 1978 will not have enough money in retirement to cover there living expenses upon retiring. Nursing homes are an expensive service for seniors, and also unpopular for some, and seniors will increasingly looking for housing situations providing more limited care and increased independence.
Technological advancements will rise in popularity as our population ages.
This can include everything from technologies like motorized scooters and chair lifts for stairs, to even personal care robots and automated medical screenings. New technological solutions from everything from personal mobility to senior health care will continue to be researched and developed in the coming years.
Multigenerational households will become more and more common.
Some may argue that this is possibly one of the more positive aspects of tightening financial constraints. As some seniors may not want to or be able to afford to move into retirement communities, families are beginning to find other solutions. For some, this may mean renovating an existing home, or adding a guest house to meet the housing needs of senior family members.
The home health care industry will experience an employment boom.
In fact the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a grown of nearly 70 percent in the employment of personal care aids between 2010 and 2020.
We are certain to have a bumpy ride ahead.
Although some of the changes seniors will experience will help create better living opportunities and situations, the road will likely be quite bumpy and difficult as we struggle to find new models of care for an increasing senior population in the years to come!