Are Baby Boomers On The Cusp Of A Crisis?

1905 words - 8 pages

According to the 2011 Canadian Census, 9.6 million people or twenty-six percent of the Canadian population were baby boomers (Statistics Canada, 2012). The baby boom of 1946 to 1964 was a period of time when the birthrate of a population was significantly higher than average. A baby boomer is someone who was born within the baby boom era. During the baby boom, approximately 412,000 babies were born per year. The baby boom began at the end of the Great Depression - a period of time when people were reluctant to have children due to financial difficulties. When the Great Depression came to an end, adults began having their postponed children. The adults married at a younger age, and had a larger number of children at an earlier age. A married couple would have about 3.7 children, compared to 1.7 children in previous years. The baby boom came to an end during the year 1965; adults were marrying later and were also having children at a later age. Now, the baby boomers are aging. The baby boomers are now fifty to sixty-eight years old, and have begun to retire. (Krotki, K. 2013) The aging baby boomers are on the cusp of a crisis because of healthcare demands, their inadequate retirement preparation, as well as the negative effects of aging.
The aging baby boomers are on the cusp of a crisis because of healthcare demands. Healthcare is becoming more in-demand due to the large number of seniors, therefore, it can be hypothesized the healthcare prices will increase. Currently, basic healthcare needs in Canada are paid for by the government, however, due to the large elderly population, it is very likely that free healthcare will not be provided in the future. By the end of 2013 the Canadian population used $211 billion of healthcare. Older citizens require more medical assistance than younger citizens; the Canada Institute for Health Information (CIHI) states that people aged sixty-five uses about $6,431 of healthcare whereas older seniors use about $20,387 of healthcare. (Chai, 2013) When the baby boomers become seniors, they will inevitably require more healthcare services which would be paid by the government. Because the large number of baby boomers will have retired, many of the jobs they occupied will not have enough people to replace them, resulting in less tax money paid to the government which could have potentially been used to pay for healthcare. If there are a lower number of taxes being paid to the government and a larger number of seniors, it can be predicted that healthcare will become privatized or semi-privatized. Because of the high demand of healthcare, the wait times for treatment may increase. The national median wait time for medical treatment was 18.2 weeks in 2013, which had increased by three days from the previous year (Humphreys, 2013). The wait times for medical treatment are already increasing and will continue to do so. Because basic healthcare is free in Canada, many people frequently go to the hospital for any injuries,...

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