Monday AM January 7th, 2011

The first of the baby boomers have crossed into senior status. Starting this month, the first wave of them are turning 65, and that population shift will have consequences in the business community. Ed Mayberry reports.

senior looking out the windowFor the next 18 years, 10,000 more Americans every day will officially become seniors. One industry standing to prosper from this aging trend is the senior care industry.  Senior Helpers has more than 340 franchises in 42 states and one in Canada. Samantha Bruce is with the Houston office.

"We provide personal care and also companionship care. Most of it is light housekeeping, medical, errands and escorts to appointments, helping them with transportation. And a lot of the personal care includes personal hygiene, light laundry, bathing—a lot of the things that seniors can't do themselves. It's amazing, a lot of these families do not have the skills to provide the same care that we do."

The demand for trained caregivers is already the highest it's ever been—seniors account for 12 percent of the population, and will account for more than 20 percent by 2030.

"The longer the seniors live, the more care they might need in the future. And yeah, those statistics are correct. I heard every 13 seconds there's one senior who might want some help. So, yeah, it's the phenomenon that we're willing to take care of. We choose really professional caregivers who want that lasting relationship. We try to match appropriate caregivers to the specific client, depending on their needs. So it's very much a matching type thing. It's very personal."

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the continuing rise in life expectancy is due to medical achievements, vaccinations against diseases and improved workplace and highway safety.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...