Between 2010 and 2035, Wisconsin’s population of people under age 65 is expected to grow by less than 4%, while Wisconsin’s population of adults over age 65 will almost double to 1.49 million. In 2011 the first “baby boomers” turned 65, leading to a bulge in the population of older adults. Twenty years later, in 2031, the first baby boomer will turn 85, leading to a bulge in the population of “oldest old”.
These population changes, coupled with economic pressures facing the existing health care system, threaten our ability to provide health care to this rapidly-growing aging population. The Institute of Medicine has stated that there is a nationwide lack of preparedness to meet the health care needs of aging boomers.
It is imperative that we make strides in Wisconsin and across the country to improve our ability to meet those health care needs. Research that facilitates the creation of new evidence-based (proven) programs and services for maintaining the health and vitality of older adults should be a top priority. WIHA and the Community-Academic Aging Research Network (CAARN) are committed to this important mission.
To learn more about evidence-based programs, read: What are Evidence-Based Prevention Programs?