“There were ten in the bed and the little one said, ‘Roll over, roll over.’ So they all rolled over and one fell out.”
Most of us know this line from the children’s nursery rhyme. I don’t know about you, but I cringe when I think about 10 in a bed. It’s a little too cozy for me!
But the potential is real …
No doubt you are aware that more than 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 each day in the United States and will continue to do so through 2029. What does this have to do with beds? Actually, a lot.
Consider the government projections that 70% of Americans age 65 and older will need some level of long-term care in their remaining years. Applying the government projections to the aging boomer population this means that 7000 more Americans are at risk of needing long-term care every day.
Older adults have more chronic diseases. With larger numbers of older adults there is an increasing need for geriatric care.
Will we have enough doctors, nurses, physical therapist, dentists? Will we have sufficient supplies and facilities such as medications, joints for replacement, operating theaters?
Will we have enough care providers?
Back to beds. According to the National Center for Health Statistics published in 2016, there were 15,600 nursing homes in the United States with 1,700,000 beds.
Let’s do some simple math. From 2011 to 2029 about 78,000,000 boomers will turn age 65. Applying the 70% likelihood of a long-term care event that means almost 54,600,000 will need care. Today, nursing home care accounts for 31.2% of long-term care claims. Roughly 17,035,200 boomers will need a bed. Divide those 17,035,200 boomers by the 1,700,000 beds available and you have 10 in the bed!
Think this is unlikely? Perhaps. But it does bring up an important point. Having a plan for long-term care is important. Will you have the resources to pay for care? Will you be able to maintain the family’s standard of living? Be able to access the care required?
And be sure that you’re not the little one who falls out when your bedmates all roll over!