State Officials Assess The Cost Of Nashville's Aging Population

Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 20:33:57-04

More than 100 a day, that's how many people are moving to Nashville every single day. Many of them are millennials.

"Those millennials come attached to families and so a lot of them I think are going to be facing care giving themselves. We are the sandwich generation and so for many of us we're caring for a kids and we're caring for our parents," said Karin Weaver. 

Weaver recently became the main caregiver for her mother, she's also the development director at Fifty Forward, a service center for seniors. "Are there enough resources to be able to help folks who are still working be able to care for their families," she asked. 

Susan Mattson is one of the co-authors of the report on senior long-term care in Tennessee. The study focused on three publicly funded support programs for aging Tennesseans and expects the aging population to more than double by 2030. 

"With the growth and the population it will continue to rise the cost and the need for these services," Mattson said. 

Fiftyforward Executive Director Janet Jernigan put it simply, "there will be many more years of very expensive care that'll be needed unless some resources are put into programs that are preventative in nature that keep people active and living independently as long as possible."

Where will that money come from? That's a question yet to be answered. "We're going to have to determine the role of the state government in this process and what we can do to try and address some of these deeds," Mattson said. 

In the end, the study found the longer folks live on their own the less it would cost the State while funding for organizations like Fifty Forward continues to be a challenge. "It's always a struggle to get the resources that we need to accomplish our mission," Jernigan said. 

Click here, for a list of resources for seniors available.