As Pennsylvania’s Population Ages, the Need for Nursing Home Beds Expected to Increase Beyond Supply

A recent article on highlights the urgent need for more nursing homes bed as the population in Pennsylvania ages. The reason? There’s simply not enough beds available to accommodate the estimate of seniors who will need them.

In the article, an administrator for Lakeview Personal Care Home in Beaver County explained, “The problem is that the cost is exhorbitant in many communities.” So to try and head off problem, the state has been funding services that will allow more seniors to stay in their own homes longer.

The programs include services such as transportation to appointments for seniors, as well as delivery of meals to homebound seniors. Funding comes from the Pennsylvania Lottery, which $50 million and state budgets, which provide $18 million.

The article notes that in 2012, Pennsylvania had almost 89,000 nursing home beds in more than 700 nursing homes. Those homes are 90 percent occupied, on average. Providing examples of how quickly the aged population is growing, the article noted that people age 60 and over should make up 25 percent of the population of Pennsylvania by 2020.

Finally, the articles suggests that if you are considering placing a loved one in a nursing facility, do your research and know the facts. Visit the facility, talk to staff, residents, and their families. Making an informed decision is best for you and your loved one.

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