Friday, November 18, 2011

The New Old?

A new Census report on older Americans is getting a lot of media attention lately.  Americans are living much longer than before, with the oldest segment (85 and above), growing the fastest.

Not surprisingly, nursing homes play a critical role in caring for this new population. Among the report’s findings:
  • A majority of those over 90 years are women living in a nursing home.
  • About 11.2 percent of those ages 85-89 live in a nursing home. This rises to 19.8 percent for those ages 90-94 and 31 percent for those ages 95-99.
  • The majority of individuals in the “oldest old” have some type of disability, thus requiring care in a nursing home.
  • Those in the oldest segment have insurance through Medicare, Medicaid or a combination of both.
With our elderly population growing, the need for quality long term care will grow as well. With so much focus on reducing the federal deficit, it’s important for our policymakers to look for reasonable solutions that don’t jeopardize the care that our nation’s seniors rely on. AHCA/NCAL will continue to support a more methodical, long-term solution to our nation’s rising health care costs and growing deficit.

You can read the full Census report here, and check out NPR’s blog post for a quick summary.

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