U.S. healthcare not ready for boomers

Dec 30, 2005

The U.S. healthcare system is not ready for the baby boom generation moving into retirement, geriatric care specialists say.

Medical resources will be inadequate for the boomer generation -- the 35 million to 70 million that will be retiring in less than 20 years, the Washington Times reported Friday.

"The shortage will be disastrous. It's really scary," says Russell Bodoff, executive director of the Center for Aging Services Technology with the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

The health of U.S. adults age 65 and older has been improving since the early 1980s, however, "diseases such as obesity and diabetes are increasingly prevalent among the young," suggesting that "future Medicare beneficiaries might be less healthy than current ones."

The National Center for Health Statistics says 40 percent of U.S. adults age 45 to 64 have high blood pressure, while 36 percent are obese -- both risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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