Advocate Diane Talbert shares her viewpoint on the growing wave of Baby Boomers health needs and subsequent rise in healthcare cost.
By Diane Talbert
Is it just me or has healthcare cost shot through the roof?
My health has gotten worst as I’ve gotten older. Recently, I had to see a sub-specialized rheumatologist because I had 22 pain points in my body. That one office visit was $3,600!
There are so many of us who live with chronic pain day in and day out. With the rising costs of health care this has effected a lot of us.
I got psoriasis in 1963 at the age of 5, and started getting symptoms of psoriatic arthritis at the age of 25 in 1988. I have seen so many doctors over the years that I have lost count of them. I am going to be retiring in a few years (I’m a baby boomer) and I am starting to realize that I will not be able to afford the cost of healthcare. There are many of us in the same boat.
Did you know there are nearly 75 million American baby boomers? Yes, it is a known fact that we will live longer, but guess what? Baby Boomers have more high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity than anyone else. I’m sure these stress related illnesses contribute to the overall rise in healthcare cost, because there are so many of us aging and needing so much more attention from the health care sector.
I feel, as a baby boomer, we are caught in the middle. We can’t get Medicare yet and our health insurance costs are out of control. On top of that, I have elderly parents who depend on me. Their care is expensive too. I often sacrifice my care so that they can have the best I can give them. Hard economic decisions mean I will end up taking less medication in order for them to have theirs. Right now I have to be put on a payment plan with my doctor because I can’t afford the visits. I actually miss several appointments because I just can’t afford this financial burden on me.
I know there has to be millions of people who are in the same situation as me. But is anybody paying attention to what is going to happen over the next few years? Does anyone realize how 75 million Americans retiring is going to affect our health system? I sure am. This is going to be something we must reckon with.
When we baby boomers leave the work force, especially leaving the nursing field, who is stepping up to provide professional care? We need someone to care for us. Are there enough gen-xers, gen-yers or millennials out there to fill those needs?
I hope someone is preparing for this “Silver Wave“. I worry they aren’t looking and so won’t see it coming.
From the Editor:
In the United States, the proportion of the population aged 65 and older is projected to increase from 12.4% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2030. The number of persons aged 65 and older is expected to increase from approximately 35 million in 2000 to an estimated 71 million in 2030 and the number of persons aged 80 and older is expected to increase from 9.3 million in 2000 to 19.5 million in 2030.
Diane Talbert is a blogger, patient advocate and speaker for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. She has been an advocate for this disease for over a decade now. Diane has run support groups in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area, is a volunteer for several organizations and vows to help find a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and stop the stigma associated with it. She loves being a wife, mother and grandmother.