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Safety nets for elderly are focus of St. Louis forum

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 19, 2010

By 2030, about 72 million Americans will be 65 or older — roughly twice the number in 2000, according to estimates by the National Institute on Aging. While there has been plenty of attention to how this coming tidal wave of seniors will strain Medicaid, aging specialists and healthcare advocates are also beginning to address the "forgotten population" — those who may have enough assets to pay for some healthcare services but not the cost of a long-term nursing home. It can be a difficult population to care for. On average, 24-hour care in a nursing home runs about $60,000 a year. Building a safety net for these elderly Americans is one of the focal points of the 35th Annual National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Conference & Tradeshow, which kicked off over the weekend at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in St. Louis.