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Population of 85+ seniors to triple by 2050

AARP has published it’s most recent volume of its profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS), entitle “Across the States.” The purpose of Across the States is to provide these data across all states because the United States does not have a national LTSS system. Given the aging of the population, rising demand for LTSS, and high cost of services, these data are essential to improving the lives of those who need LTSS and their family caregivers.

Across the States reveals four key trends:

  • The ages 85+ population is projected to triple between 2015 and 2050.
  • This demographic shift will have a profound impact on family care giving.The caregiver support ratio compares the number of people ages 45–64 (peak caregiver age) to the number ages 80+(peak care need). Currently, there are about 7 people ages 45–64 for every person age 80+. By 2050, that ratio will drop to 3 to 1.
  • The older population is becoming more diverse. In particular, the Hispanic population ages 65+ is projected to quadruple between 2015 and 2050.
  • State Medicaid LTSS systems are becoming more balanced—that is,the percentage of spending going to HCBS is increasing—both overall and for older people and adults with disabilities specifically.

In 2017, the median annual cost of a nursing facility was $97,455 for a private room and $87,600 for a shared room. The base price for assisted living was $45,000. The median cost for a home health aide to provide care at home was $22 per hour for 30 hours a week, for an annual price of $33,540. Adult day services cost $70 per day; for an individual utilizing adult day services 5 days a week, the annual cost was $18,200.

The report contains much more information on demographics and costs, including nursing facility quality and resident populations. Read it here: