By Kippi Waters - Founder, Peninsula Homecare Cooperative
I am proud to be a boomer – the largest, richest, best-educated generation in history.
We brought the world rock stars and Barack Obama, personal computers and GPS, social and environmental activism, women’s rights and shattered glass ceilings.
With 10,000 people reaching 65 years old every day, we can also boast an historic new demographic in which the old outnumber the young. This is especially apparent in silver-haired Jefferson County with the oldest median age in the state and ninth oldest in the nation.
Nationally, this wave of boomers reaching old age is impacting the field of senior care in a way that is metaphorically known as the “silver tsunami.” The statistics are alarming – between now and 2030, the age 80-plus demographic will increase by 79%, while the age 45-64 population (the most common age of caregivers) will increase by just 1%. In Jefferson County, this dramatic shortage of caregivers is already impacting our ability to quickly respond to the growing needs of our aging population.
As a community, we pride ourselves in being a beautiful and vibrant retirement destination. However, we need to ensure that we have caregivers in place to meet the changing needs of our retirees. Peninsula Homecare Cooperative, an in-home care agency specializing in senior care, held a community summit to address the current caregiver shortage crisis. Our goal was to engage community dialogue and expertise in finding timely solutions for the present and future care of our elders.