A recently released report from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) highlights trends among America's 40 million older adults. The age group is expected to double by mid-century, growing to 83.7 million people or one-fifth of the U.S. population.
Population trends and other national data about people 65 and older are presented in the report, 65+ in the United States: 2010 . Among many other items, the report documents long-term care and housing costs and where older adults live and with whom.
According to the report, the average cost of a private room in a nursing home was $229 per day or $83,585 per year in 2010. Less than one-fifth of older people have the personal financial resources to live in a nursing home for more than three years and almost two-thirds cannot afford even one year.
“Most of the long-term care provided to older people today comes from unpaid family members and friends,” noted Richard Suzman, Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Resarch at NIA. “Baby boomers had far fewer children than their parents. Combined with higher divorce rates and disrupted family structures, this will result in fewer family members to provide long-term care in the future. This will become more serious as people live longer with conditions such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.”