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Fact Finder: Aging Baby Boomers Pt.3

Does the cost of healthcare make you sick? If it does, it won't make you feel any better as baby boomers age in to their elderly years.

"The future's very uncertain financially for people my age," said Grant McClamrock.

Baby boomers like McClamrock consider the health of healthcare twenty years from now. He is visiting his mother, a resident at the Beechwood Independent Living center in Troy.

"I'd like to see some kind of provision for long term care for seniors, and especially continuation and support for Medicare," McClamrock said.

They're important to consider as boomers cycle in to places like this at record numbers.

Michelle Mazzacco, vice president of the Eddy Visiting Nurse Association, says "it's providing the right amount of care at the right time. For people who are chronically ill, there can be months when you need a lot of care and the next month much less."

Providers say the best option is to leep you at home as long as possible. But later, it's about giving baby boomers more options. Independent living and nursing homes -- more options for the health of the entire system.

"There's going to be no one source of funding that's going to address these problems," said UAlbany sociologist Dr. Philip McCallion. He is the director of the school's Center for Excellence in Aging Services. "We're going to have to commit some of our own resources, we're going to have to look at what society can provide."

Fewer people will be paying in to than taking from the coffers of state and federal governments.

"If we are spending public money we are sure that the public money is getting the effects that we are hoping for," McCallion said.

McCallion says that funding needs to be targeted to that community approach to healthcare. Research from New York State indicates that boomers save less than their parents did, and they have less of a support network.

"There are fewer people paying into insurance systems but also to be family care givers," McCallion said. "Are people willing ot pay for something they won't use until twenty years from now?"

The experts say it's the most effective way for people like grant to plan, and the simplest in theory.

 
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