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
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