People are living longer than ever. In fact, if someone from 150 years ago could time travel, they’d think some sort of wizardry was going on – in regards to the elderly population.
But it’s not wizardry, it’s just health care. Senior health care, to be exact – and it’s changing every day.
Want to know what’s new when it comes to taking care of the elderly? Read on below.
1. Fewer and Fewer Caretakers
Stick with us while we explain some human geography for a moment, we promise it’s relevant.
The human race’s age distribution has always looked like a triangle. There have been more younger people than older people – exactly like a triangle.
But as the elderly are living longer, we’re seeing that shape change. It’s not quite an inverted pyramid, but it’s beginning to get top-heavy. People are having fewer children and when they are, they’re having them later.
So – what does that mean for senior health care? The already crowded health care realm for seniors will only get more populated. And right now, we don’t have the number of caretakers we need to keep up with demand.
That means, unless we get younger people interested in caretaking/nursing/being doctors rather quickly, the price of care will go up. It’s the classic supply and demand scenario.
If you know anyone that’s looking into becoming a caretaker or somehow working with the elderly, encourage them! We need it.
2. More “Third Places”
When you walk into a senior living facility, it’s all one building, right? You have the dining hall, the rec-room, and some multi-use rooms.
But they’re all connected to the living quarters. That can feel pretty claustrophobic if you’re there long enough.
So we’re seeing a trend toward what experts call “third spaces,” which are on-grounds/supervised cafes, coffee shops, parks, and libraries. They take inspiration from this (super) cool senior facility in the Netherlands.
3. Marijuana? Maybe.
In states where medical marijuana is legal, we’re starting to see doctors prescribe it the elderly. While we’re against smoking as a delivery method, we’re not necessarily against responsible pot use.
It will depend on the doctor and whatever facility your loved one lives in. But if you see Grandma getting high – it might be a sign that the times are changing.
4. Smart-Home Features
As we move into the AI generation, we’re starting to see people use that technology to care for the elderly. These features are in some, high tech, living facilities, but they’re not yet common.
We’re talking about toilets that can report how many times someone flushes during the day and track any changes. You may not think not flushing for a while isn’t a big deal – and it’s not as long as you’re healthy.
But what if it’s an elderly person who’s regular and then there are no flushes for a full day? They may have fallen down and need help.
We’re also seeing software that helps caretakers, like Log My Care.
Senior Health Care Trends
Healthcare has changed a lot, even since you were born. Now imagine how much it’s changed since the people using senior health care were born.
It’s almost unrecognizable. Send this article to a loved one who’s older, or takes care of an older loved one. Keeping everyone up to date on health care trends will make it less of a shock when they need to (eventually) use them.
Worried about the future price of health care and want to save more now? Learn how to live on less (so you can have more later).