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By 2050, the population of older Americans aged 65 and over is projected to grow from 40.2 million in 2010 to 88.5 million in 2050. (See endnote 47.) This creates a huge new problem of housing for the elderly and severe healthcare situations due to infirmity and a wide range of chronic and infectious diseases.

There are several senior housing options which include staying in place; staying in place with outside help to take care of medical needs, physical needs, home maintenance, loneliness, socializing, financial needs, and loss of independence such as no longer driving; an independent living facility; an assisted living facility to take care of personal care and other things but not on a 24-hour basis; and eventually a nursing home to provide medical and personal care which is greater than that which can be handled at home or in less intense facilities. The nursing home or rehabilitation hospital may be used as a temporary recovery area after hospitalization and until the individual is capable of once again resuming a fairly normal life. Each of these options may present problems for the individual and family. This discussion will be primarily about those receiving home healthcare and those in nursing homes. It will also include a brief discussion on stand-alone surgical units, clinics, and physicians’ offices.

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