Health & Spirit

The Coming Caregiving Crisis

Scott LaFee on

With roughly 8 million middle-class Americans currently over the age of 75, the costs of needed housing and personal assistance is already a big and seemingly intractable issue. A new study suggests it will be bigger and even more problematic in 2029, when the number is projected to almost double to 14 million and more than half are expected to not be able to afford appropriate housing and assistance.

Approximately 54% of seniors won't have sufficient income to afford an assisted living facility or adequate care to stay in their own homes, reports NORC, a research institution at the University of Chicago.

The study concluded middle-class seniors will be hit hardest. Richer folks will continue to have sufficient income; poor seniors will qualify for Medicaid, which covers the cost of nursing homes and long-term care services. It's estimated that a senior will need at least $60,000 a year to cover assisted living rent and other out-of-pocket medical costs in 2029.

Body of Knowledge

Your bellybutton could be a forensic goldmine. A few years ago, researchers swabbed 60 bellybuttons and identified 2,368 species of bacteria. More than half were determined to be "new to science." And each person's swabbed bellybutton microbiome was bacterially unique -- like a fingerprint.

Get Me That, Stat!


The ongoing measles outbreak is not limited to the United States. The World Health Organization has reported 34,400 cases in Europe in the first two months of 2019 -- triple last year's count. Thirteen measles deaths were also reported in Albania, Romania and Ukraine, according to CNN.


35: Monthly threshold, in dollars, at which drug companies will be required to list prices of drugs advertised on television

488 to 16,938: Monthly price range, in dollars, for the 10 most commonly advertised drugs


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