Living in rural America, it is hard to imagine overpopulation, but our world is struggling with population growth. A particular concern is with the growing aging population. According to Pew Research Center people age 65 and older are expected to triple to 1.5 billion by 2050.
The scariest part of this is that the younger, working-age population is shrinking. In many places around the world there will be far more elderly people than young. This puts a strain on the economy and is concerning when thinking about care needs.
So are seniors left to suffer in a neglectful situation? I often see that happening, since long term care costs are often exhausting all of the resources people did save for retirement. The average cost of nursing home care is around $80,000.00 per year. The assisted living facilities are averaging around $42,000.00 per year. When people are in the donut hole for their Medicare D plans, sometimes medications alone cost over a $1,000.00 per month. I guess it is not surprising some older Americans are struggling to make ends meet.
One growing trend is families, once again, are having their elderly loved ones live with them. Our society had moved away from this as more women had to work outside the home so they were not home to care for children and the elderly anymore. The big issue with this is that families still need all adults in the household to work outside the home, but yet many caregivers are quitting their jobs and struggling financially to care for their family member. In most states, including Illinois, there are not any resources to reimburse family members for providing care.
People really want to age in place and I rarely assist people requesting to move out of their home and into a facility. Remaining at home with supportive services and Medicare-covered skilled home health services can help people at home with an average cost of $300 - $400 per month.
Western Illinois Home Health is a full-service provider for in-home services. If you or someone you know is in need of support in their home, please call us for help coordinating services at 800-228-5993.
Amanda Powell, BSW, is a Senior Care Manager at Western Illinois Home Health Care