A report released last month by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) predicts that not only will the number of seniors in California rise sharply in coming years – reflecting a national trend – but that a growing percentage of these seniors will be living alone. Whether widowed, divorced, or lifelong singletons, nearly 50% of the seniors in California in the year 2030 will have no spouse or partner – and 20% of the women over 75 in this group will have no children. Coupled with the trend of ‘aging in place’, the Institute estimates that nearly 1 million seniors in the year 2030 will require outside, non-family care. While a tenth of this group will require nursing home care, the large majority will prefer to stay in their own homes, living independent lives with the help of home care companions.
Often referred to as the Silver Tsunami, the Baby Boomer generation is impacting every institution it comes across, and retirement and aging are no exception. The statistics predicted for California, show a near doubling of the 65+ demographic by 2030. A similar report from The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) predicts that 19% of San Diego will be over 65 by the year 2035. How will San Diegans continue to live healthy, independent lives as they ride the Silver Tsunami into their retirement years ‘solo’? According to the PPIC report’s authors:
“While there will certainly be a need for more doctors and nurses, the biggest demand for workers will occur in allied health professions, such as physician’s assistants, medical assistants and home health aides,” they wrote.
The home health care industry, which plays an integral part in the ‘aging in place’ lifestyle, is gearing up to provide specialized care to San Diego’s residents. Demand is growing every day for compassionate, competent and qualified homecare companions who play such an intimate role in a senior’s life. Home care companions assist with grooming, personal care, meal planning, trips to doctors’ offices, medication reminders, trips to the store, and companionship. Homecare companions of the future will also need to speak more languages than ever before, cook cultural cuisines, and help seniors exercise their faith, too.
According to the California state website, San Diego will have one of the fastest growing ‘over 65’ and ‘over 85’ segments in the state. The good news is, as we try to show every month in each new Aging In San Diego post, San Diego is already a great place to live, no matter what age you are. With 15 years to plan and resources, data, and determination, San Diego will stay one of the best places to live in the country.