With the wonderful advances made in disease prevention, detection and treatment during the 20th century, the average life expectancy for Americans has increased by more than 50% in the last 100 years. In the United States, average life expectancy is nearly 78 years.
This is wonderful news! Younger generations are getting to know their grandparents and great-grandparents. More adults are able to enjoy retirement with their families. Healthy older adults are able to continue to be active in their communities, sharing their knowledge and skills with others. But with the increase of our lifespan, challenges come as well.
Challenges of Rise in Life Expectancy
Geriatric Care. An increase in elderly citizens means a greatly increased need for health care workers to care for them. We already have a shortage of physicians who specialize in treating older adults. While there are more than 7,000 geriatric doctors in the U.S. today, about 17,000 geriatricians are needed to treat the 12 million American seniors alive today. It is estimated that the need for geriatricians will double by the year 2030.
Chronic Disease. Because chronic diseases use to cause death are now survivable, there are more senior citizens living with these diseases into old age. This has increased the need for specialized care for older patients with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Health Care Expenses. With older adults living longer and receiving more medical care, Medicare reimbursements have increased tremendously. As the number of elderly continues to grow, paying for their medical care continues to be a source of concern and debate.
Long-Term Care. The explosion in senior citizen population has meant a greatly increased need for long-term residential care options for older adults who can no longer live on their own.
Senior Care Centers offer compassionate, long-term care for those who are no longer able to live independently. Call 844-722-8800 or contact us for more information on our assisted-living, skilled nursing, and Alzheimer’s/Memory Care Units for older adults.