Nov 28 2017

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Aging Report Promotes Health, Wealth & Self!

Jim Reisburg

At October’s Senior Education Network meeting, Jim Reisburg, Chair of the Colorado Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging (SAPGA), presented the November 2016 report on Health, Wealth, & Self to the governor. The report provides an insight to these three main topics, eight goals, and recommendations to improve aging for Coloradoans.

Jim presented several interesting statistics for Coloradoans in general: Life expectancy is now 80.4 years. On your 65th birthday, Coloradoans will live another 15 to 17 years. Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers!

90% of those over 65 have at least one chronic disease. Over 70% have two chronic diseases. Treating chronic disease accounts for 75% of national health care spending. 85% of Medicaid is spent on chronic disease treatment, whereas 95% of Medicare is spent on the treatment. Chronic disease is preventable if people would do these three things: Don’t smoke, eat better, and exercise more!

Twenty-five percent of the workforce say they never plan to retire. 50% plan to work past age 65. 60% of the workforce hasn’t saved for their retirement! 40% of people over 62 have assets of $25,000 or less. 84% expect to live on Social Security, which may not be enough to survive! However, people over 50 years control 85% of our nation’s wealth. The highlight is people over 65 will support 346,000 new jobs in healthcare by 2030!

Forty million Colorado volunteer caregivers donated 37 billion hours valued at $470 billion each year. 60% are women with an average age of 50 who will spend an average of 3.7 years as a caregiver. Volunteer caregiving costs in 2015 were estimated at $3.7 billion. In retrospect, it costs employers $564 million due to employee loss in time as a caregiver.

Jim says we should no longer see aging as a problem to be “fixed” or a disease to be “cured,” but a powerful natural lifelong process that connects us all. People with positive attitudes of aging will live 7.5 years longer.

The strategic planning group was formed in 2015 to study the positive and negative impacts of Colorado’s aging demographic through year 2030 and to create a strategic action plan!

The planning group discovered the population over 65 grew 29% between 2010 and 2015. It’s projected to increase by 68% or 508 thousand Coloradoans by 2030. They determined to act now or face serious consequences later on.

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