Baby Boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day, and that’s been happening since the first boomers did so in early 2011. If you extrapolate that and factor in greater lifespans, the number of Americans over age 65 will double to 80 million in less than 30 years.
The fastest growing age group? People 85 and older. At the current rate of growth, there will be 6.6 million people in that category in less than eight years. This trend will lead to equivalent growth in the number of people with disabilities and those who need assistance with the activities of daily living.
The State of Minnesota’s analysis of disability incidence by age reveals the not altogether surprising notion that the percentage of people with disabilities grows with age.While that much is intuitive, what will surprise many is how rapidly the incidence of disability grows for people over 70, and particularly those over 80 — the rate more than doubles. For the children of boomers, and the generation before them, this suggests that there is an increasing need to plan, at the family level, for the long term care needs of family members.
Why? Because it is increasingly correct to ask “When” not “If” when it comes to assessing the potential of a family member to need long term care. With the ongoing growth in the cost of care, the need for thoughtful planning becomes even more important.