One of the topics that I keep coming back to on this blog is the notion that the senior citizen population is growing faster than it ever has before. In 2016, seniors accounted for about 15 percent of the total population of the United States. By the year 2024, it’s expected that this number will climb up to around 24 percent of the population. In terms of numbers, that’s a growth from 46 million seniors up to around 98 million people that are 65 or older. Unless the number of resources and employees in the senior care sector can grow in a significant manner to adapt to these estimates, there is potential for the care industry to be in some major trouble.
The lack of an appropriate number of people working in the field is only a part of the problem. New facilities will be needed to provide skilled nursing care and assisted living homes to the elderly that receive care in this manner. Beds, furniture, and other items that are needed for day to day living will need to be acquired, too. Because many seniors have special needs or disabilities that must be accounted for, these things will likely be more expensive than standard pieces of furniture as these needs are met.
Additionally, new technology will need to be integrated into the senior care industry as a whole. Right now, care services tend to use technology for things like tracking medication, financial info, tracking special needs and health concerns, and other things of this nature. However, as the number of elderly people increases, this technology will need to adapt to scale for the growing number of people using the software and be accounted for within it.
Many care services (and families, for that matter) have come to rely on these tech solutions to help with care. Digital medicine, remote monitoring, motion sensors, and more can help keep seniors in their home for longer periods of time. They are not a replacement for senior care, but they can help to stave it off for longer, thus cutting down on costs and helping families to maintain their independence. If these products cannot be effectively scaled, then these solutions won’t exist for future senior citizens.
That’s just one of the issues that is developing when it comes to the coming years in the care industry.
Ultimately, these concerns will more than likely be handled by someone else. Unless you are a professional within the care industry or are working on policy change to protect our loved ones, you’re more than likely not going to be addressing the problems mentioned above. However, there are things that you can do to help handle the potential care crisis on your end.
The first is to take charge of things on your end. Be proactive about securing care. Even if your mom or dad seems like they are years away from needing senior care, start making arrangements today. This will make it a lot easier to move forward once it comes time to pursue this on your end.