The Aging Population: Stats and Recommendations

    It’s a well-known fact that the aging population is growing as baby boomers begin to reach and exceed 60 years of age. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double, from 12 percent to 22 percent.”

    Nearly 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day over the next 15 years (U.S. Census Bureau).

    As the aging population grows, so does the need for home modifications to improve ease of living due to common diseases, disorders and injuries that occur. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention breaks down the prevalence of sensory impairments alone in both men and women.

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    The following are statistics to take into account when considering recommendations for home modifications and assisted living:

    • Over 20 percent of adults aged 60+ suffer from a mental or neurological disorder and 6.6 percent of all disability among people over 60 years is attributed to mental and neurological disorders (WHO).
    • An older adult is treated in the emergency room every 15 seconds for a fall; as a result of a fall, every 29 minutes, an older adult dies (National Council on Aging).
    • As shown in the chart above, one out of six older adults has impaired vision, one out of four has impaired hearing; one out of four has loss of feeling in the feet and three out of four have abnormal postural balance testing (CDC).

    Other impairments and hindrances older adults may face include reduced mobility, chronic pain and frailty (WHO).

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    Choosing the right home modifications can assist ease of living at home. Consider the following home modifications to benefit various health conditions, cognitive disorders and sensory or movement impairments:

    • Grab bars in showers and near toilets
    • Ramps near stairways for easier movement
    • Easy-to-reach clothing rods and storage
    • Barrier-free showers
    • Flip-down shower seats
    • Raised toilets and beds for easier transfers

    image on page for  / perceived to contain Art, Doodle, DrawingReady to learn more? Register for our monthly CEU on “Sarcopenia and the Impact on Senior Life,” presented by Kevin Farrell, DO on March 28 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.