Boomers hit 65
Are Californians ready?

About this project

With the start of 2011, the first of the nation’s 75 million baby boomers will reach age 65, setting the stage for a huge retirement rush that could swamp the health care system. Nowhere is the challenge bigger than in California, with the nation’s largest boomer population and a safety net already under enormous financial pressure. Boomers may expect to face doctor shortages, changing family dynamics that determine how they’re cared for as they age, and a health care system less centered on hospitals and nursing homes, and more focused on cost savings. With government resources tapped out, they can expect to shoulder more of their own health costs.

Stories

Boomers hit 65: Health system challenges mount

The baby boom generation, which has been shaking up American society for more than a half-century, is about to unleash one last revolution. Starting next month, the first of the nation's 75 million baby boomers – born in the generation after World...

Doctor shortage: Primary care will be harder to find

Boomers will face intense challenges finding a doctor right when their medical needs start to increase, putting greater demands on them to improve their own health and better manage their chronic conditions.

Facilities: Limiting hospital stays is major goal

As they move into retirement, boomers will stress not only California's network of medical staff but the hospitals and clinics where they seek care.

Family structure: With fewer offspring, care options reduced

Baby boomers may have more than one kind of caregiving problem. Unlike their parents, who have been attended to in their old age by their large broods of sons and daughters, boomers typically had small families – 1.8 children on average vs.

Finances: Most won't have the money to live comfortably in retirement

Many boomers appear to be in trouble on the savings front.

Health and Disease: Living longer brings own set of problems

One snapshot of baby boomer health shows the generation as rugged outdoors men and women who go mountain biking and kayaking.

Medicare primer

WHAT IS MEDICARE? Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people 65 and over, people under 65 who have certain disabilities and people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or end-stage renal disease.

Shrinking budgets to limit services as demand surges

While demand for senior services is mounting, the government's ability to provide those services has been weakened by soaring health care costs and state and local budget cuts.

From the editor: Series looks at our aging boomers

Wasn't it just yesterday when the baby boomers were bouncing around to The Who's "My Generation" and singing along … "Things they do look awful cold / Hope I die before I get old."

New health law to offer some relief on long-term care

Roughly seven in 10 people who turn 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to the SCAN Foundation. Chances are that most of them don't know how they'll pay for that care.

Training helps control costs

Alison Navas organizes the complexities of her life on her BlackBerry, keeping track of her fifth-grade son's tutoring lessons and ballet classes, family parties and doctor's appointments.

Where will boomers get long term care?

After a severe leg infection landed Bill Hollingworth in the hospital a few years ago, the Citrus Heights man was sent to a nursing home to recuperate for what he hoped would be a few weeks. A few weeks turned into 13 months.

Patt Morrison features 'Boomers Turn 65'

Senior writer Emily Bazar discussed her project "The Boomers Turn 65" with Patt Morrison last week on Southern California Public Radio. The stories, published in partnership with the Sacramento Bee, describe potential shortages in hospital beds,...

Editorial Posts

Editorial: Is state ready for a wave of elder boomers?

The baby boom generation begins to turn 65 this year. The good news is that this generation of 76 million, born between 1946 and 1964, is living longer, healthier lives.

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© 2019 Center for Health Reporting

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