Who’ll Care For West Virginia's Growing Elder Generation?
We’re an aging nation.
Today 16 percent of Americans are over age 65. In the next few decades that will double as the youngest Baby Boomers move into old age, but in West Virginia, that future is now. It’s the third oldest state in the nation and more than 20 percent of its residents are over age 65. At the same time, West Virginia’s birth rate is low because young people are leaving. That generational imbalance will increase in coming years.
The numbers show a growing crisis. More seniors want to stay in their homes and the industry has shifted from a nursing home model to one focused on aging in place. That’s led to an explosion in home-based support and care services, but now those companies struggle to find the workers they need to provide services for the growing elderly population.
This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.
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