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The Rising Cost of Aging in America

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There has never been a better time to grow old. Modern medicine has redefined treatment methods; our economy is booming, and our government is recognizing the importance of retirement. But there is no arguing that there’s a rising cost of growing old.

Increased out-of-pocket costs for medications and doctor visits, changes in Medicare and Medicaid, longer life expectancy and growing housing expenses all play a factor in these climbing numbers. This spells an urgency for the present, when regular exercise, mobility, and physical activity today can reduce risks for diseases and disabilities that may develop and contribute to rising costs as people grow older.

While Medicare does a fair job of covering costs for eligible seniors, many still pay out-of-pocket costs when it comes to their medical care and prescriptions. Median medical out-of-pocket costs are estimated to rise over 40% by 2040. And the uncertainty of the future of Medicare and Medicaid also raises a concern for those nearing or already in their retirement years. Again, in an uncertain financial future, an investment today in keeping active and healthy is comparable to saving for tomorrow.

The anticipated increase in life expectancy will also add to the rising cost of aging. Between now and 2050, the American population aged 65 and older is expected to double, while the population over 80 will triple. With modern medicine continuing to amaze, humans can expect to live longer than ever before. This good news also puts into perspective the importance of planning ahead while also bearing in mind that the process of healthy aging starts today.

Housing expenses will also cause the monthly bill for aging to climb. Home health care and assisted living facilities all come at a cost. Requiring upwards of $30,000 per year, Medicare will no longer be able to support this cost for every individual, and retirees needing additional assistance should plan to pay a considerable amount out of their own pockets. Maintaining mobility into the later years can keep some costs at bay, where the amount of hands-on assistance from home health care professionals can be reduced.

Add all of these numbers in the equation together, and it totals an amount much higher than before. However, there is one factor that can’t be mathematically tallied: The stigma of walker usage among older adults. According to recent research, the traditional walker, while beneficial to mobility, creates a “devalued identity” to its user and this assistive technology is often avoided because of the stigma of using the walker. Thus, this stigma is damaging. A walker can’t enable health and mobility nor can it keep falls from occurring if there’s a negative undertone attached to its use.  

Thankfully, planning ahead and the careful selection of medical products and assistive technologies that will benefit most in the long run, like the Motivo Tour, can help keep certain costs down while keeping retirees on track. The Tour, which is unlike any other walker available on the market today, offers an appealing look - a huge departure from the negative stigma of a traditional walker -  along with an attractive price for those looking to improve their quality of life through better mobility.

Consider these factors and plan now for the years ahead. 

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