Families in Maine are trying to cope with the growth of the retirement population and a decline in young workers – issues expected to be mirrored in states throughout the nation in the coming decade, The Washington Post is reporting.
A fifth of Maine’s population is older than 65 – meaning it now meets the definition of “superaged,” according to the World Bank.
Over the next seven years, Maine will be joined by 15 others states, according to Fitch Ratings. Those states include Vermont, New Hampshire, Montana, Delaware, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. And more than a dozen others will meet the same criterion by 2030, the Post noted.
Throughout the United States, the number of seniors will grow by more than 40 million – nearly doubling between 2015 and 2050. And the population of those older than 85 will almost triple.
Now, experts say, the nation will have to adjust its workforce, develop new programs for the elderly and learn how to deal with caring for tens of millions of senior citizens without ruining families’ financial futures.
But right now, Maine is feeling the pinch.
Its 65-and-older population is set to grow by over 50% by 2026 – meaning it will need more nurses, homecare workers, and doctors.
But, according to the Post, there is a dangerously low supply of workers in the state.
Betsy Sawyer-Manter, president of the SeniorsPlus agency responsible for placing care workers with Medicaid enrollees, said: “As people retire, we just don’t have enough workers to do all the jobs we need done.”