2019 has been a very significant year for bringing aging in in place issues more out in the open. Articles on senior housing, financial challenges and on the aging process itself are still not front page news. But they are not back page either.
Much of the discussion is generated regarding following the money. The money that private industry thinks boomers have to spend is an incentive to build senior housing and create more silver tech. The reality that there needs to be a middle income alternatives is now obvious. The resources of public money to allocate or legislate for coming needs is also getting some media time. There is talk of Long Term Care insurance being a standard benefit you pay into.
Again why? The demographics of having the largest segment of the population be over 60 is hitting home. When some states, counties have come to the realization there will be more people over the age of 60 than are in K-12 programs, heads finally turn. The model of combining public and private efforts are starting to crop up.
Next January, the oldest boomer turns 75. Seventy-five is considered ‘true elderly’. Between then and now the pressure will be on as the reality hits home that many seniors will not just hop over to expensive assisted living. The idea that home tech and volunteer organizations can help seniors stay in their own homes will be obvious. An election year that could make a huge difference in how the so many ‘elders’ issue are addressed for the next 8 years is looming. There is a call for increased wages that could help attract more caregivers.
All and all, I feel more positive. There should be fewer younger seniors with blinders on. They the need to think ahead and plan as best they can. Together we can be our own best advocates to make changes on the local level and on up.
The dire predictions of the last five years about the silver tsunami overwhelming every resource are still humming in the background. But as public awareness grows, we can hope for a pivot towards action to help more seniors age in place.