LTC Tsunami is Coming

“The two most dreaded words are nursing home.” – the late Rep. Claude Pepper

Pepper’s words were quoted to NPF fellows by Robert Burke, professor of health care administration at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Burke talked about long-term care for the 75 million Baby Boomers who will be turning 80 in the 2030s – as well as the much larger 84 million-strong Millennials beginning the aging trek.

There are 16,000 skilled nursing homes in the U.S., a number that has not changed in 40 years, Burke said. Part of that is attributable to alternatives such as assisted living, home- and community-based care, and naturally occurring retirement communities (NORC). Another issue is cost – the bill for a skilled nursing home ranges from $60,000 to $140,000 a year.

States regulate nursing homes, and licensing varies widely. You can get specific state information from the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.