Growing Demand for Long-Term Care Services
As the baby boom generation continues to age, the demand for long-term care services is expected to grow over the coming decades. Consider the following figures, which are represented in the graphic immediately following:
- In 2009, the number of people age 65 and older in the U.S. was greater than 39.5 million, representing almost 13 percent of the population.
- By 2020, it is estimated that the number of people age 65 and older will grow by about 40 percent to nearly 55 million, at which time that age group will represent about 16 percent of the nation’s population.
- By 2030, that segment of the population will grow another 31.5 percent to just over 72 million, representing 19 percent of the total population.
- By 2040, the rate of growth of the elderly population will begin to level out somewhat to 12.5 percent, but the number of people age 65 and older will increase in absolute terms to over 81 million and will represent a still larger 20 percent of the population.
Combine these figures with an estimate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that about 70 percent of individuals over age 65 will need some type of long-term care in their lifetimes, and the growing demand for long-term care services over the next several decades becomes very clear.