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Fewer Nursing Homes, More Seniors

According to recent studies, by 2030, the number of people with ages 65 or more will represent 20 percent of the population. Currently 13 percent of the U.S citizens are of this age. The number of the people over the age of 85 will increase more than 50 percent. Even so, the number of nursing homes dropped 9 percent in 9 years, from 2000 to 2009. It seems that fewer and fewer nursing homes are being built as well.

Money Problems Led to This Situation

The Fiscal Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted the research which the revealed that the situation of the nursing homes is bad. It seems that the reason why the number of nursing homes dropped is because of the poor economic situation. The companies considered that investing in nursing homes is not worthy, and thus, they did not do it. In California, not a single nursing facility has been constructed in the past 5 years, and the same thing happens in numerous parts of the country, according to Edward Steinfeldt, a consultant to developers of retirement housing.

Even the existing nursing homes have a very difficult time, as they lose money on a constant basis. The main reason is the fact that too many of the patients are covered by the Medicare programs, which pays for the people who cannot afford paying the nursing homes. Last year alone, the nursing homes lost $20 per Medicaid patient per day. As a result the nursing homes lost $6.3 billion in 2011 alone. The Medicare payments represent 20 percent of the nursing homes revenues, and very recently, the government has cut its compensation rates by 11 percent of the Medicare patients that returned to the nursing homes after they were hospitalized.

The recession and the precarious real-estate situation are to blame for this lack of interest when it comes to investing in nursing homes. The situation is very difficult because the seniors will have a really difficult time. Because of this, they might have to live with their relatives, if they are allowed to do so, of course. It is known that a very large number of old people are being sent to nursing homes because the families cannot afford taking care of them. Some of the families might believe that this is better for their parents, or relatives, whereas others do it because it is better for them.

There are Mixed Opinions about Nursing Homes

The opinions about nursing homes are different. Some believe that they are the best place for an old person, because the nursing homes allow people to interact with other people. Many of these people live alone, and because of this they start suffering from various illnesses both physical and mental. They might become depressed; they might start suffering from various forms of anxiety, and so on.

Because of the current situation, many of the families will be forced to take care of the elders, whether they like it or not. Of course, there is also the possibility for the situation to become better in time.

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