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Getting Older

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This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

We hear a lot of talk about Utah’s ballooning school age population, and rightly so. The need for teachers, buildings and other facilities to handle the growth in coming decades will be immense. However, there is another age-group challenge approaching that is of equal, if not greater significance.

Utahns are getting older!

The state’s senior population is growing at twice the national rate. Over the next 25 years, the 65 and older population is projected to increase by more than 150 percent.

Just one example of what that portends – if the baby boom generation, which is approaching retirement, relies on Medicaid to the same extent the current senior generation does, it will bankrupt state government in a matter of decades.

Thankfully, in anticipation of the challenge that is coming, Utah lawmakers have formed a Commission on Aging. Beginning with today’s initial meeting and for the next two years, the commission will pursue its charge to thoroughly explore issues related to Utah’s maturing populace. Medical needs, financial planning, care giving and a host of other topics will be considered.

In KSL’s view, the commission’s work is vital to Utah’s future. We encourage broad public support for the effort, along with acknowledgement that issues involving older Utahns demand priority consideration both from government and the private sector.

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