As members of the baby boomer generation turn 65 at a rate of about 10,000 people each day, the senior health community is preparing for the influx of older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the senior population is expect to reach 72 million in the next 25 years, which is about double what it is now. The growing number of seniors will likely pose challenges for the health care community, but a recent CDC report - the State of Aging and Health in America - says those challenges can be addressed.
"The significant proportion of Americans represented by the baby boomers continues to exert its influence. In large measure, this influence will have its most profound effects on our nation's public health, social services, and health care systems," the report states.
Alzheimer's disease is expected to be one of the biggest issues facing seniors. In fact, some estimates suggest that the number of Alzheimer's cases could triple by 2050. Researchers and community officials have been working on ways to combat the growing threat of Alzheimer's and dementia, and the CDC says that one of the most important things for them in the coming years is to craft a Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map. The CDC's road map will include several areas of focus, including improving monitoring and evaluating as well as empowering the population to take control of their cognitive health.
Although Alzheimer's will surely be a significant challenge to healthy aging, it is not the only one, according to the CDC. Experts also highlight the importance of mobility to the senior population. Ensuring older adults can get around easily will help them stay both physically and socially active. The report offers some suggestions on how to help, and points to the Atlanta Regional Commission's Area Agency on Aging, which uses evidence-based programs in an effort to help seniors walk freely and independently.