BOUNTIFUL – According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of seniors in the country will increase from about 40 million in 2010 to more than double Р 88.5 million С by 2050.
In Utah, the population of people ages 65 and older will increase from a 2012 level of about 260,000 to more than 460,000 by 2030. That’s an increase of 145 percent in the first three decades of this century. In only six states are senior populations expanding more rapidly.
The change comes partly because of increased longevity and partly because baby boomers are reaching retirement.
The change could mean additional pressure on government programs, such as the Davis County Health Department, that serve the elderly.
The number of older adults with chronic conditions has and will continue to increase dramatically in the coming years, according to an annual report from the Utah State Division of Aging and Adult Services. The first Boomers turned 65 in 2011 and of these, more than 37 million will have more than one chronic condition by 2030. That’s six in 10. About 14 million people will have diabetes and half will have arthritis, according to First Consulting Group & American Hospital Association.
“Chronic diseases not only kill but also can negatively affect quality of life as well as threaten the ability of older adults to remain independent within their own homes and communities,” the 2012 report reads. “The more chronic illnesses an individual has, the more likely that individual will become hospitalized.”