One the most famous demographers (study of demographics) in the United States is Ken Dychtwald. He’s written sixteen books on the subject, and consults Presidents, World Leaders, and top CEOs of major companies. Not only does he study US demographics but has something to say about Japan’s aging population, and China’s, as well as the European’s.
Recently, I re-read; “Age Power – How the 21st Century Will Be Ruled by the Old” by Ken Dychtwald, PhD., Penguin Putnam Book Publishers, New York, NY, 2000, 266 pages, ISBN: 0-87477-594-5. Although this book was written in 1999 and re-published in 2000 and was a best-seller, what has changed since then? Not much actually, and all of Ken’s predictions are playing out now.
Most of us know about this problem, and most of us have older members of our family who may soon be in need of long-term care and caregiver services. Are we prepared, what are we going to do when that time comes, how will we know when it’s time to get a little extra help for mom or dad?
How bad is the problem really? Ken Dychtwald talks about a demographic “Train Wreck” and coming demographic crisis in the United States. No, it’s not just here, but it could become a far worse problem here. He states: “A caregiving crunch could become the social and economic sink hole of the 21st century.”
So what does Ken Dychtwald, PhD. mean by this statement? Well, it’s simple, there will not be enough money for families to take care of all the elderly seniors in the last decade of their lives, or enough money in the US treasury to pay for everyone’s caregiver services during that time. He also explains that unless 10’s of millions of caregivers are trained in the next decade there won’t be enough people to meet demand – not even enough people for those families who can afford the services.
We will all be saved by new live-longevity breakthroughs? Don’t count on it says Dychtwald, sure we may live little longer with technological enhancements, but eventually we are going to need help and if health care costs continue to rise, it’s going to a crisis.
After reading chapter six of this book; “The Caregiving Crunch” I am even more convinced that there is a great need for reasonable and affordable in-home care services, as families need an agency with trained, reliable, and back-ground checked caregivers. It’s needed now more than ever. This niche must be filled. Our nation’s seniors and their quality of life depend on it.