Latest News 2017 September Nursing Homes Flatlining-How Will Seniors Prepare?

Nursing Homes Flatlining-How Will Seniors Prepare?

For over 10 years, the number of nursing homes has stayed flat, and experts estimate that 1 in 5 nursing homes could close their doors within the next 4 years. It isn't for lack of need, either. Every day, an estimated 10,000 people turn 65 in America—adding to the 15% of the population who are currently at retirement age. As the boomers retire in larger numbers every year, spending on senior care will expand.

However, boomers who are retiring are also falling back on nonexistent savings. For many people exiting the workforce, they're looking ahead to decades of living near or under the poverty line. At the same time, seniors at all income levels are looking to avoid nursing home care—perhaps due to the realization that many nursing homes subject their residents to terrible conditions.

So where's the solution? For many families, at-home care or community-based care is the solution. The difficulty is ensuring that every senior is getting what they need—nearly all state-provided at-home care programs have long waiting lists. Another issue is that nursing homes have been a part of the healthcare landscape for so long that there's heavy political pressure to continue funding them—even as home care is in greater demand.

Experts are urging policymakers to think in terms of "quality of life" and not just data like home aides or wait lists. As nursing homes decrease and the aging population continues to grow, we have to continue fighting for better programs, smarter funding, and more resources for the elderly. Most of us reach advanced years now—it's in all of our interests to invest in our future and create solutions that give us long, happy, fulfilling lives.

Categories: Nursing Home Abuse