• Richard Portugal

The Financial Senior Care Tidal Wave


There is a tidal wave that is just starting to smash upon the shores of the United

States-- it is the Baby Boomers, those born during World War II and the decade

following. The demand for medical, social and generational care will quickly

diminish the available tax base and cause a financial hardship that will erode our

shores for decades to come.


This tsunami is composed of well-meaning but wasteful financial dollars and social

oversimplifications. As is our habit, dollars are thrown at a problem with the

intent of a fix but the result is of haphazard implementation and misappropriation.


Medical costs and social perceptions are based upon future baby boomer’s

perceived needs, especially in the medical sphere. Yet, are these future needs

inevitable and written in stone? Are there ways to soften the effects of this

economic tsunami?


Yes—by reducing the need for social and medical dollars to care for individual

senior citizens. How? By encouraging seniors to remain independent both

physically and financially.


Half the seniors in nursing homes are residents, not due to medical problems, but

rather because they are frail. Seniors need to maintain their strength, balance,

endurance and flexibility to remain independent and perform activities of daily

living. Senior communities, including nursing homes and assisted living residences, cost on average between $70,000 and $100,000 a year. Every year a

senior citizen remains independent will enable them to remain financial solvent

and fill their remaining years with purpose and fulfillment.


Seniors are fully capable of becoming stronger, achieving better balance skills and

staying healthy and active. Proper activity insures strong muscles and a flexible

brain. Inactivity encourages muscles to atrophy and the brain to fade. Stressing muscles at any age keeps them stronger and more flexible, enabling the body to

navigate activities of daily life with a more stress-free approach. The brain also

dramatically responds to reflex and coordination exercises which increase its

efficiency and speed.


Fragility amongst seniors is a harbinger of the storm which lingers just off shore.

Encouraging physical strength, flexibility and cognitive fitness will make the

financial tidal wave of senior care more like a gentle ripple.


Submitted: Richard Portugal, Fitness Senior Style, 201-937-4722

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