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Aging Seniors- Top 5 concerns

As the general population ages and baby boomers enter retirement there is a growing concern about a variety of issues. Not only are there serious concerns for the aging but also for those of us who will have to dedicate our time, energy and money to care for and often support our parents and grandparents. Kaiser Foundation released a study earlier this year evaluating the top concerns for seniors.

Issues to consider for the aging

1.       Medical Expenses for the aging

Kaiser Foundation found that a particular burden for aging seniors is the rising cost of medical care. Although most seniors have Medicare coverage to subsidize the cost of medical care this does not mean that they do not have high out of pocket costs for premiums, deductibles and other services not provided by Medicare. Kaiser found that when these additional costs were taken into consideration the number of seniors who could be considered to be living in poverty rises from 9.0 to 15.9, underscoring the concern that health care costs can negatively affect many senior’s financial security.

2.       Relying on Government Benefits such as Medicare and Social Security to pay for cost of living

Most seniors are eligible for Social Security Retirement benefits at age 62 or older and benefit from this support, but as seniors age and their other savings are depleted, Social Security income may become their only means of support. Unfortunately, as their cost for Medicare or other health care costs increases their income available through Social Security may decrease. Unfortunately, in the last several years the cost of Medicare has increased and has been deducted from most beneficiaries’ payments and cost of living adjustments have not kept pace with the increased cost.

3.       Decline in physical and mental health

As we age we all experience a decline in our physical and mental health. Living independently as we age becomes more and more difficult. Physical challenges that may present issues for seniors include hearing impairments, osteoporosis, decreased vision, heart disease, decreased mobility, decreased strength, hypertension, and arthritis. Mental challenges can include declining long-term memory and depression.

4.       Social changes

Seniors are also faced with social challenges. This can include isolation from their family and friends, loss of peers or children living away from them.

5.       Long-term care

Seniors are living longer than ever and concerns about where they will spend time when they are unable to care for themselves are important. Not only do they need to get good medical care and take care of themselves, they need to stay active in their community and develop a security plan for their future. This may require planning with kids and spouses. Investigate your options before you need to make a decision.

Given the growing concerns about an aging population it is important to address the issues above sooner rather than later. Financial concerns can be addressed with a bit of planning. Combating health concerns and social isolation will take proactive steps on your part. Get involved in the community, go to church, volunteer and continue to move. These are the actions that can ensure that you will stay strong and healthy