State’s Aging Population Could Mean More Strain for Health Care Services
The trend suggests that older Californians could start putting more pressure on the public health care system at a time when the state has started cutting back on services. Lawmakers already have reducedÂ spending on adult day health care services and Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
Jon Stiles -- studies director at UC-Berkeley's Census Research Data Center -- said the median age is the oldest in California's history. The higher median age likely reflects the large number of baby boomers who are approaching retirement.
Over the past 10 years, the number of Californians ages 55 to 64 has increased from 2.6 million to 4 million, according to the census data. The age group now makes up 10.8% of California's population (Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/12).
Adults Age 85 and Older
The state also has seen an increase in the number of residents age 85 and older. Such residents typically live in long-term care centers or need regular monitoring from trained caregivers.
Deanna Lee -- executive director of the Area 4 Agency on Aging -- said the state has limited resources to serve the needs of such elderly residents (Reese, Sacramento Bee, 5/12).
On Thursday, KQED's "The California Report" reported on the new census data (Shafer, "The California Report," KQED, 5/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.