The impending “elderly & disabled” crisis

There is a massive elderly population in the United States that only continues to grow and age. In the next 40 years, the number of Americans aged 65 or older is going to more than double. By 2040, they are going to form over 20% of the population. [1] This problem is not isolated to the US; in fact, other countries – such as the United Kingdom and Germany – are actually facing greater aging populations. [2]

The problem with the growing aging population in the United States is that it will not be matched by growth in the “non-elderly, working age population” [2].  Who is going to pay taxes and fund the public programs needed to care for the elderly? Who is going to form the healthcare teams of nurses, doctors, and other professionals to support this growing number of patients with long-term, ongoing issues?

There is no “compression of aging”, where people live in good health until rapid decline just before death.  Most of this aging population is disabled, sometimes with multiple afflictions.  This means that a significant portion of our population is disabled. How do we handle this?