The number of aging Americans developing chronic diseases is increasing but they cannot afford to pay for the long-term care costs in a nursing home.
Because very few people are available to take care of them and illnesses become more expensive by the day, many of the baby boom generation from the United States find themselves unable to cover the costs of a nursing facility that they need.
Based on a new study, chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and lung disease increased in older Americans from 1998 to 2008. Forty one percent of these adults had at least three chronic diseases in 2008. At the same period, 51 percent had one or two chronic conditions and only eight percent did not have one. The excessive drinking and smoking rates have dropped in Americans at least 65 years old but the percentage of obese and overweight seniors increased. The individuals that are about to retire in the following years have increased to 76.4 million American citizens. Many of them will soon require a nursing care facility or home health aide.
People are blunt about their disdain in the elderly who consider staying in an independent retirement community. However, this attitude does not stop retirement communities from alluring the largest generation to date, born from 1946 to 1964. The elderly avoids the thought but they will reach "old age" soon and would have to decide who will take care of them.
The study looked into the nursing home costs and whether or not the boomers' can afford it. The average price for a nursing facility private room was $229 per day in 2010. That was nearly $84,000 a year. The research team found out that less than 20 percent of the elderly can afford to stay in a nursing facility for at least three years and almost two thirds cannot even afford one year.
The statistics represent "an approaching crisis in caregiving," the U.S. National Institute on Aging Division of Behavioral and Social Research director Richard Suzman said. "Baby boomers had far fewer children than their parents. Combined with higher divorce rates and disrupted family structures, this will result in fewer family members to provide long-term care in the future. This will become more serious as people live longer with conditions such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's."
The number of senior American is expected to increase to 83.7 million by 2050. The researchers hope that the study will serve as a resource to policy makers, educators and the general public.