Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Boom Doom Looms: Millions Of "Poor, Frail Older Americans" Foreseen

Date:
February 9, 1999
Source:
University Of Southern California
Summary:
Unless more resources are devoted to research and prevention of the diseases of aging, the next millennium will be characterized by millions of poor and frail older Americans, a respected University of Southern California gerontologist says in the journal Science of Friday, Feb. 5.

Unless more resources are devoted to research and prevention of the diseases of aging, the next millennium will be characterized by millions of poor and frail older Americans, a respected University of Southern California gerontologist says in the journal Science of Friday, Feb. 5.

Related Articles


"The issue that will most affect the quality of life for tomorrow's older population is their future health requirements," says Edward L. Schneider, M.D., dean of USC's Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, who notes that health care for seniors already accounts for a third of the more than one trillion dollars spent on health annually. In contrast, the federal government currently spends about a billion dollars a year on aging research.

"No corporation that spent a mere 0.3% of its revenues on research would last long in a competitive marketplace," Dr. Schneider says.

Aging baby boomers and continuing increases in life expectancy will swell the number of Americans aged 65 or older to 35 million in 2000 and 78 million in 2050, he says. Middle estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau project about 18 million people who will be 85 or older by 2050, but many demographers believe the bureau's higher projections of 31 million very old Americans are more likely to come true.

Schneider, formerly deputy director of the National Institute on Aging, examines the future of health, Medicare, housing, transportation and economic status for the elderly using two scenarios. In the first scenario, investment in aging research increases to appropriate levels; while in the second, current low levels of aging research support are maintained.

Schneider believes that many debilitating conditions affecting older people can be conquered with more research so that "the average health of a future 85-year-old in the year 2040 resembles that of a current 70-year-old with relatively modest needs for acute and long-term care."

Schneider says "a quantum increase in research on chronic diseases is necessary before we can make a dent in the projected growth of health-care costs related to an aging population." Without it, he predicts substantial increases in health-care costs during the first two decades of the next century, followed by even more rapid cost acceleration.

Schneider, who holds USC's William and Sylvia Kugel Dean's Chair in Gerontology, says there could be enormous demands for home health care, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, as well as severe strains on the transportation system by large numbers of older disabled people.

"In rural areas, it may be impossible to provide necessary services to large numbers of frail older Americans," he says. "In urban areas, needs for transportation services may overwhelm existing resources."

He says the economic status of seniors won't change substantially under the increased-research scenario, but "could result in many millions of older Americans moving below the poverty line" under the inadequate research scenario.

"The health of an aging population will not only directly affect [seniors'] future health-care costs, but it will also have enormous consequences for their economic, housing and transportation needs," he says. "If we invest a reasonable percent of the Medicare budget in research now (2% or 3%), we could save future generations from the physical, sociological and economic scourges of aging with the dire consequences of millions of ailing and impoverished elders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Southern California. "Boom Doom Looms: Millions Of "Poor, Frail Older Americans" Foreseen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990209072533.htm>.
University Of Southern California. (1999, February 9). Boom Doom Looms: Millions Of "Poor, Frail Older Americans" Foreseen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990209072533.htm
University Of Southern California. "Boom Doom Looms: Millions Of "Poor, Frail Older Americans" Foreseen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990209072533.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feeling Young Might Mean A Longer Life Span

Feeling Young Might Mean A Longer Life Span

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A study published in JAMA shows that people who feel younger than their chronological age might actually live longer than those who feel old. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins