America is facing a demographic shift that has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of elderly individuals. In fact, seniors are living longer and enjoying more active and comfortable lives than they have at any previous point in America’s history. At San Francisco Home Care Assistance, it is our mission to help seniors live happier, healthier lives in the comfort of home.
The number of elderly individuals, defined as men and women who are 65 years of age or older, has shown a sustained and increasing rate of growth. According to the Social Security Administration, in 2000 the elderly population in America stood at nearly 40 million, in comparison to about 12.7 million in 1950. In fact, as the baby boomer generation continues to age, it is estimated that there will be over 70 million senior citizens living in America by 2030.
There are a number of reasons for this increase in the elderly population, but the most important is the improved life expectancy stemming from better medical care and the demographic surge created by the postwar baby boomer generation. Improvements in medical care have both increased the life expectancy of the elderly and their ability to live a satisfying and comfortable life. For example, many conditions that would have once resulted in death or permanent disability can now be treated on an outpatient basis. Furthermore, new care options such as home care in San Francisco are helping to extend and enhance the live of seniors.
The aging of the post war baby boomer generation, defined as all individuals born between 1946 and 1964 is the second factor in this demographic shift. The rising prosperity of postwar America resulted in a massive surge of births and with the first members of this generation already passing 67, this surge will translate to a drastic growth in the elderly population.
Ultimately, this demographic shift brings both benefits and challenges. It benefits the American people by allowing the elderly to enjoy lives that are both healthier and more active. However, it also demands that the American people understand that eldercare services and effective estate planning for senior citizens is now more important than ever before.
If you are the adult child of an elderly parent or loved one, take the time to sit down and discuss their future in regards to long term care. While the sensitive subject can be difficult to discuss, it is crucial to help prepare your elderly parents and loved ones for the future. If finances are a concern, read our article about four ways to pay for long term care or contact a Care Manager today for more information.