THCA describes Silver Tsunami, says it will impact Lubbock

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On Thursday the Texas Health Care Association released a statement saying as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement, there is growing concern for their long term care.

The surge in aging Texans, known as the Silver Tsunami, could impact Lubbock County’s 16 long-term care facilities in particular, THCA said. 

By 2030, Texans over the age of 65 is expected to more than double and that number is expected to increase by more than 262 percent by 2050, according to the association. In Lubbock County, more than 12 percent of the population is over the age of 65 and that number continues to increase. 

According to the THCA, this situation is exacerbated by the complex medical conditions affecting aging Texans, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementia-related diseases. According to data from the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 380,000 of the state’s residents have already developed Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

The THCA recently released a report detailing the causes and effects of the situation, and urged lawmakers to take action.

Kevin Warren, president and CEO of the THCA, said Texans value and respect seniors.

“But Texas’ history of chronically under-funding long-term care is producing barriers to quality care,” Warren said. 

Warren said the growth of baby boomers reaching retirement age will produce an unsustainable burden for family caregivers who provide unpaid care to loved ones. 

The number of people between ages 45 and 65 who are often called upon to care for older loved ones is projected to grow at a slower rate than those over 65, according to the Texas Demographic Center. 

According to the THCA, the people who will care for senior Texans will increasingly be seniors themselves.

THCA says, additionally, Texas nursing homes are hindered by one of the lowest nursing home Medicaid reimbursement rates in the nation.

The state’s Medicaid rate falls almost $10,000 short of the cost of care per Medicaid resident on an annual basis. More than two-thirds of all residents in Texas nursing homes rely on Medicaid.

For more information on the study, visit the THCA’s website. 

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