No country will ever exist without healthcare. In the United States, it accounts for at least 17% of its GDP. The industry, though, is vast, and some sectors may be a more attractive business than the others. One of these is senior health care.
1. The United States Has an Aging Population
One of the reasons to invest in senior care, especially in a health care franchise opportunity, is the country’s growing older population.
According to a 2018 report by the Census Bureau, in 2016, the number of adults over 65 years old was 49.2 million. By 2034, it will increase to 77 million. Thirty years after that, the country will have nearly 100 million senior adults.
Even more interesting, by 2034, the United States will have an almost equal number of senior adults and children. By 2060, the number of baby boomers will eclipse that of the young ones. The percentage of children below 18 years will significantly decline from 22.8% in 2016 to 19.8% in 2060. Within the same period, the senior adult population will rise from 15.2% to 23.4%.
The population rate in the United States will also slow down and age considerably. Forty years from now, the median age will be 43. Today, it’s 38 years old.
2. Americans Are Also Living Longer
Although the rate of life expectancy declined slightly, overall, Americans are living longer than their parents and grandparents. The cases of death due to major health conditions also dropped over the last forty years. Fatalities due to heart disease decreased by a whopping 60%. Cancer death rates also went down by 21%.
A longer life expectancy, though, doesn’t always equate to good health and well-being. While fewer Americans smoke, obesity is increasing. From 2017 to 2018, obesity prevalence was 42.4%, according to the CDC. It’s over ten percentage-points increase back in 1999 to 2000. Around 43% of adults 65 years old and above were also obese.
Obesity is a significant risk factor for many chronic conditions. These include cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. This alone may eventually increase the demand for geriatric health care and prescription medications.
3. Many of These Seniors Are Living Alone
About 29% of older adults are living alone. Of these, almost half are 85 years old and above, while 46% of them are women. These individuals are solo for many reasons:
- They may have already lost their spouses.
- They decide to age in place.
- Their children are all grown up and may be living in other states or countries.
- They may have already paid their mortgage, and so staying in the same house may be more economical.
- They cannot afford to pay for senior living facilities or move to retirement communities.
Over 85% of them value their independence, but 60% may feel isolation and loneliness. The senior population is also not immune to poor mental health, such as depression and anxiety. Solo living may also significantly limit their mobility. Worse, it may lead to a poor health outcome, especially when they get sick or disabled.
A senior health care franchise opportunity can step in to provide them the right support and compassion whenever necessary. They may extend proper medical care and companionship according to the desired schedule or need of this population.
Anyone who likes to get into the health care business can explore many markets, including senior care. It won’t take many years before it becomes one of the biggest, if not the largest, in the country.