It’s no secret that America is getting older. We are currently in the period where all the baby boomers are finally hitting the ripe age of 65+. The trends in healthcare certainly do not favor the older adult population unfortunately. Many older adults have insurance through Medicare but according to Moeller (2015), Medicare is not enough to cover all of the needs of older adults, particularly long-term custodial care. So where does that leave this vulnerable population? One hospitalization can bankrupt them. Some of them rely on family members to care for them long term if something happens, because Medicare can’t cover it. But the sad reality is that not everyone has the luxury of younger family members who are close enough or willing to care for their older relatives. Some may have opted out of starting a family since it is the 21st century (it’s not a requirement to have kids). Moeller (2015) goes on to explain that Medicaid is the “default provider of long-term care in this country”. The problem with that is Medicaid is not an option for every older adult. In order to quality for Medicaid the older adult would essentially have to spend away almost all of their assets which is a very sad and embarrassing thing to do. Over the next 5-10 years we will need to find other options for how to manage care for these older adults who cannot afford long-term care when something happens. It is a huge concern already in Japan and in countries in Europe and will become a similar problem here if we do not change how we will support our older population.
Moeller, P. (2015). Medicare coverage for aging parents’ care is not nearly enough. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/medicare-coverage-aging-parents-care-nearly-enough/