California’s Elderly Population Is Growing: What It Means for the Future
One popular image of California is of young people frolicking on the beach. The state’s entertainment industry and high-tech startup sector both project an aura of youthful energy. Yet, the truth is that California’s population is getting older. In fact, the over-65 age group is growing faster than any other age group in the state.
Change is coming fast. Eight years from now, California’s 65-plus group will have grown by 2.1 million people. By comparison, the youngest group, those who are under 25, will increase by only 2,500.
This population shift will cause both problems and opportunities. On the plus side, the growing population of retired people could provide valuable contributions of time and expertise. On the minus side, the state’s aging population will create difficult financial and social challenges that, as a society, we are not well prepared to deal with.
Who Will Take Care of the Elderly?
When elderly people can no longer live independently, who will take care of them? This is already a problem in California that will worsen as the elderly population increases. Lower income seniors are especially vulnerable as they depend on funding from state programs. In general, many middle-class families cannot afford to hire a caregiver or pay for long-term care for a parent or spouse, and may choose whatever care they can find.
Even when people can afford care, there is still a shortage of caregivers and facilities in all parts of the state. Many facilities are maintained in poor conditions and cases of elder abuse increase when caregivers are overworked, underpaid and inexperienced. Consequently, a Los Angeles elder abuse lawyer may need to get involved to protect the safety and health of your loved ones.
In some cases, the job of taking care of a parent may end up falling on the children. While there can be great joy in taking care of an elderly parent, for many, being a caregiver also causes emotional and financial stress. Family members may quit or cut back on their paid work, which can create a financial crisis.
How a Los Angeles Elder Abuse Lawyer Can Help
California not only has a growing elderly population, but it is also ranked as the worst state in the country for elder-abuse protections. This is a dangerous combination. Unless California can do more to protect its vulnerable elderly residents, the problem of elder abuse will continue to grow as the senior population increases.
If you ever suspect that a loved one is being abused, help is available. Please call Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 281-8515 to talk to an experienced Los Angeles elder abuse lawyer and find out how we can help.