The older population of the U.S. is skyrocketing, with the number of seniors expected to approximately double in the next few decades – while the population over 85 nearly triples.
The aging of the baby-boom generation means millions of job openings for elder care workers, as well as geriatricians, geriatric nurses and other healthcare workers.
Medicare right now does not pay for any of these services. Medicare is basically for hospitals, and doctor bills. They will pay for in-home skilled nursing services if somebody needs that after a hospitalization.
However, any of the long-term support and services that older adults need is not covered by Medicare at all. State Medicaid does pick up a fair bit of this work, but unfortunately, you have to be pretty poor to qualify for Medicaid, so a lot of elders just don’t qualify for it.
On Models in Other Countries for Elder Care
Some countries that have put in place social services for this including Sweden, where if you’re older, you have a disability, you need care, they have in-home workers that can go see you as often as every two hours.
They’re not there 24/7, but they can stop by every two hours, and that is all paid for under countries health insurance so that you do not have any out-of-pocket expenses.
We can only hope that soon we can begin to address the looming crisis that will affect millions for several decades.