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Dear Arkansas: How Will We Keep Up With Our Aging Demographic?
It’s a valid question, Dear Arkansas: How can we keep up with our ever-aging population?
When our demographic is expected to change so drastically by the year 2020, when we’ll see a huge increase in population of people 55-74 years old.
When it’s 2015 and we’re already seeing that changing demographic around the state.
When Gertrude Weaver was an American “supercentenarian,” having been born in 1889 in Arkansas and living —mind you, in Arkansas the whole time —all the way to this year, April 6th, 2015.
Gertrude Weaver was a record-breaker, holding the title of the oldest living American since 2012. But it doesn’t take a record-breaking supercentenarian to remind us all that we have an aging population, and that we need to do something about it quick to help prepare Arkansas for what’s coming.
Every age group has different needs in a society. The younger the population, based on Census records, the greater the need for stronger education measures and funding. Same thing goes for aging populations — the more elderly people our state has, the more measures and funding we need to help them.
However, despite this obvious fact, around the country we’re failing our elderly population, unable to implement the necessary protocols and safety measures to help our elderly citizens. And in Arkansas, that couldn’t be more true.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers believe that more needs to be done to help prepare for the year 2020 and beyond, when our population ages 55-74 is expected to experience the most growth of any age group. And that’s information that we’ve known as early as 2005, when Senator Sane Broadway initiated the Arkansas 2020, a report that noted the changing demographics in our state.
We believe that we need to start providing more resources and services to help care for our elderly population. In addition, we need to continue to make sure that our nursing homes are providing a standard quality of care that helps keep our elderly citizens safe and protected from nursing home abuse and negligence.
Nursing home abuse and negligence, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and medical negligence, may be a much bigger problem that you’d expect. Not only may elder abuse be occurring around the country at much higher rates that you might expect, but the impact is severe: Elders who experience abuse — even “modest” abuse — may suffer a 300 percent higher risk of death, according to the “Elder Self-Neglect and Abuse Mortality Risk in a Community-Dwelling Population,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009.