Have you taken a look at the Stock Market recently. To say the United States economy is at a low point is pretty close to an understatement. With the threat of a double-dip recession, much of the government-provided financial aid towards the health care industry is facing the threat of non-existence. Senior care is expected to be among the first government-assisted amenities cut. With that in mind, did you know that more than 43 million Americans currently provide care for an ailing senior. That is representative of more than fifteen percent of the U.S. population. More importantly, that number is going to continue to grow as the parents of the baby boomer generation get older and require more care. So what does that mean for you?
The first step would be to figure out who YOU are because, lets face it, these statistics affect different people in different ways. If you are a middle aged working class American, odds are your parents are getting to the age where they may begin to require more health care and monitoring than the yearly doctor’s check-up can cover. At this point, you have to anticipate a few things.
1. That there is going to be an eventual need for additional forms of health care and monitoring for your senior.
2. That, financially, you should start to plan for this now.
I understand, in this economy especially, the grim reality of health care costs. States are allocating fewer and fewer dollars to nursing homes and, regardless of your views politically, the coverage that nationwide healthcare provides is often inadequate for many of the issues that could arise.
According to the 2007 Genworth Cost of Care Research Study:
Contracted In-Home Care Costs: $3,360-5,760/month
Nursing Home (Shared Occupancy/Single) Costs: $5,430/month:$6,150/month
Assisted Living Communities: $2,714/month
With the current state of the economy coupled with the average U.S. household income, it becomes pretty unrealistic for your average American to consider the bulk of these options. As such, many Americans (the previously stated fifteen percent) resort to self-provided home care for seniors.
Now, if you are a senior needing care, different issues are brought to light. Unless you have amassed a respectable amount of wealth that is not affected by the current downward trend of the market, you may find yourself unable to afford the aforementioned healthcare options. This again leads us to why fifteen percent of Americans end up caring for an ailing senior rather than allocating their resources towards an Assisted Living Community, In-House Agency, or Nursing Home.
The point of this blog posting is an attempt to prepare you (whoever or whichever demographic you may be) for the changes in senior care that may be forced upon a good percentage of Americans due to the current economic turmoil this nation is facing. I predict a strong increase from the current fifteen percent of baby boomers caring for seniors as the costs for out-of-home care rise and the average household income continues to decrease.
What are your predictions for the future of Senior Care? Do you think the Baby Boomer generation will rise to the challenge? How much of an effect do you think a double-dip recession will have on healthcare in America?