A new National Public Radio (NPR) series recently discussed where Americans age as they get older. Statistics stated in the series seem to reflect our nation’s growing aging-in-place movement.
The series states that the aging of America is about to pick up speed. “Next year, the first of 78 million baby boomers will turn 65. That means the number of seniors will more than double in coming decades-in what’s been dubbed a ‘silver tsunami.’”
But the series also notes that one thing that is not expected to change is that the overwhelming majority of aging Americans will want to grow old in their own homes. In fact, 9 out of 10 seniors stay where they are when they retire,” according to AARP.
While many older people are in better health than previous generations, it will be a challenge to keep living independently as Americans also live longer than ever before. Statistics reported by such studies and the series allude to the fact that this will be a societal challenge. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau contends that the number of people ages 65 and older will grow from 13% of the current U.S. population to 20% by 2050-that is an even greater share of the population than seniors now make up in Florida!
According to data received from AARP and the U.S. Census Bureau, only 5% of Americans ages 65 and older live in group quarters like nursing homes. In recent years, this share has been steadily declining (based on 2008 American Community Survey data-numbers do not total 100 due to rounding). In addition, the report shows that 27% live alone; 64% live with others (including relatives and spouses); again 5% live in group quarters (like nursing homes); and 3% live with non-relatives or in non-family households.
In its interesting and informative series of reports, NPR explores the quiet aging-in-place revolution (along with both its high-tech and low-tech attributes) that aims to make it easier for seniors to age at home.
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