Population aging refers to an issue where there is an increased number of older individuals compared to younger, and an increased life expectancy rate. The trend can be dangerous for the economy, but also the health of those in the aging population. It is estimated that by 2050, the number of adults over 60 years will double and reach an estimated 2 billion – putting a significant strain on the economy, nursing homes, assisted living, and family members.
When these numbers increase and population aging hits full force, labor forces will decline, fertility decreases, and the age dependency ratio will fluctuate significantly. For example, while there might be ten employees to every elderly individual today, in 2050 they expect that number to be four people for every one elderly person. Imagine what that means for the healthcare system? Some European countries even expect their numbers to reach as low as two workers per one person.
The long-term care needs of Baby Boomers and the aging population in 2050 requires action today. These challenges that come with the aging population increase include:
Right now, the government and healthcare industry is struggling to find a way to ensure that the aging society will have proper care and access to funding. There are insufficient resources, and currently, the Medicare and Medicaid systems are lacking the complexity to handle a double increase of users.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 8 million individuals currently need long-term care services – and most of those 8 million are over the age of 65. While there are options for long-term care, these options are expensive.
Long-term care cannot keep up with the booming numbers of those needing the service. In the United States, family members are carrying the financial burden because their loved one’s government assistance and retirement accounts no longer have funds to pay for their services. More Americans are living well past their expected age when they retired, meaning most have inadequate savings to cover those additional five to ten years.
Nursing homes have been scrambling to secure funding, and many new nursing homes have been popping up throughout the state and the rest of the country to meet the demands of the aging population. Unfortunately, with all the new nursing homes and assisted living facilities, government agencies are falling behind on inspections and regulations.
With so many new nursing homes, the quality of care has decreased. Companies are lowering their standards when hiring staff for their nursing homes, which means lower quality caregivers and an increased chance of neglect or abuse for residents.
Furthermore, management is less inclined to note neglect or abuse because they are taking on more residents than they used to even ten years ago – stretching the caregiver to patient ratio to the maximum.
Unfortunately, with so little oversight today in long-term care, experts report that elder abuse knowledge is severely lacking. There is no systematic approach or reporting system in place, and if one is not found soon, there will be more cases that go unreported when the aging population doubles by 2050.
The reasons these numbers are so underreported stem from a variety of factors:
Several studies have been investigating the growing trend of abuse and neglect cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the United States. They have compiled a list of some of the current risk factors that put an older adult at higher risk:
Elder abuse occurs in the community setting more often than at-home care services. Some of the research has concluded that:
Elder abuse affects not only the victim but family members and the economy. The increased cost of relocating all patients in a facility that is shut down from gross negligence, the healthcare costs required to help rehabilitation victims of abuse and neglect, and the emotional burden are extensive.
The negative impacts of elder abuse include:
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the attorneys at Malman Law. Our advocates have extensive experience handling cases of abuse, and we will not rest until your loved one is safe, and the facility responsible provides you with compensation.
Furthermore, we want to help lessen the financial, physical, and psychological burden of the neglect or abuse for you, your loved one, and the community. By holding nursing homes accountable, we hope to reduce the number of abuse cases each year.
Explore your options and speak with an attorney at Malman Law today by calling (888) 625-6265 or request more information online.