A demographic shift and increase of Californians ages 65 and older over the next 15 years could strain government-funded health programs such as Medi-Cal and In-Home Support Services, as well as state and local budgets, according to a California Budget Project report released this week, the Sacramento Bee reports (Weaver Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 11/23).
The report analyzed data from the U.S. Census and the Department of Finance. According to the report, the senior population in California will increase by 71% to about 6.2 million residents by 2020. The report found that one in seven residents will be age 65 or older by 2020.
Although older Californians are expected to be healthier than in previous generations, the large number of residents approaching that age group could pose challenges for government-funded health care programs.
Barbara Baran, associate director of CBP and author of the report, said the findings should be examined "in the context of other challenges -- child care, elder care, health care -- that are really emerging" (Coleman, AP/Los Angeles Daily News, 11/23).
The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.