The next generation of senior citizens is posed to live
longer and be larger than any previous generation. Starting in 2011, the first
members of the baby boomer generation turned 65 years old, joining the existing
population of 40.2 million seniors living in the United States. By 2030, the
baby boomer generation is expected to contribute over 80 million seniors to the
Given increased life expectancy rates, there could be an
upwards of 120 million Americans aged 65+ by 2030.
Much like the baby boom forced public schools in the 1950s to
increase their capacity due to demand, there will be a similar effect on the
healthcare system in the years to come. Unlike public schools, however, the
demand for healthcare will never stop and will actually increase as more
seniors are living longer and with more chronic conditions.
Today’s seniors are said to already use hospital services at
4.5 times the rate of the younger population, which indicates that inpatient
care will rise exponentially in the next 20 years as the senior boomers grow in
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What are the Healthcare
Implications of Baby Boomers?
The American Hospital Association predicts that 6 out of 10
baby boomers will be managing multiple chronic conditions including diabetes,
arthritis, and obesity in 2030, which means that hospitals should prepare for
an influx of boomers requiring inpatient care. By 2030, baby boomer hospital
admissions are anticipated to be more than double what they are today.3
Acute care admissions are expected to grow to over 44 million in 2030,
resulting in a need for over 238,000 additional hospital beds in the United
States to meet the increasing health demands of the baby boomer generation.2
Seniors will account for over half of all hospital
admissions in 2030 and are expected to occupy 59% of available hospital beds.2
This statistic has serious implications for healthcare facilities, as seniors
are the population most at risk for a hospital fall. Consider the following
- Seniors are 9x more likely to experience an inpatient
- Over 1/3 of seniors experience at least one fall each
- 1 in 5 seniors experience a fall within a hospital
- By 2030, approximately 56% of admissions will be patients
- Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among
- Falls cause more than 87% of all hip fractures in seniors
and 25% of patients die within a year of the fracture5
By 2030, 80 million baby boomers will be likely candidates
for falls in the United States. According to the statistics, 16 million falls
will occur within a hospital setting in 2030. Today, only 8 million seniors are
expected to experience an inpatient fall which means that between now and 2030,
there could be a 100% increase in hospital falls. As even more seniors live
even longer lives, falls could become an increasingly larger burden for
How to Prepare for
Projections expect that hospitals in the United States will
require 238,000 additional hospital beds in order to prepare for the senior
baby boomers.2 Considering that 59% of all hospital beds in the
United States will be occupied by seniors, it is recommended that hospitals
equip units with elderly-accessible hospital beds that help prevent patient
Many hospital beds range from 18-20” from the floor, which
is higher than many beds that patients sleep in at home. The unfamiliarity and
increased height could result in more patient falls, as mobility issues can
prevent older patients from climbing out of bed with ease. Not only do seniors
experience mobility issues, but seniors are on average more prone to take
multiple medications, face visual impairment, and experience forgetfulness or
confusion, which are factors contributing to increased fall risk.
As a result, low hospital beds have been recommended by
numerous organizations including The Joint Commission and Veterans Affairs to
reduce the number of patient falls in hospital settings and prevent adverse
effects such as hip fractures. Low hospital beds help seniors sleep safely and
comfortably, and prevent fall injuries.
CHG’s Spirit Select bed is a solution for reducing patient
falls with its low height of 10” from the ground. Seniors can benefit from the bed’s
low height that allows patients to place their feet firmly on the floor when
exiting, and the adjustable positioning feature for increased comfort and
mobility. The Spirit Select is designed to keep patients safe has the needs of
senior patients in mind.
In the 1950s, the baby boomers had a significant impact on
public school systems. New schools were built and capital equipment was
purchased in order to meet the needs of the increased number of students, only
to be no longer necessary once the boomers graduated and were replaced by a
much smaller generation of students. There is fear that this may once again
happen, but as life expectancy continues to increase and chronic conditions
become more prevalent, the healthcare industry can be sustained beyond the baby
Adjustable equipment like the Spirit Select low hospital bed
can help hospitals adapt to the changing demographics of patients. With heights
ranging from 10” in the lowest position to 35.25” in the highest position, the
Spirit Select can be used in a number of patient settings.
Hospital admissions are on the rise, and flexibility can help
meet the needs of the diverse patient population.
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CHG Hospital Beds specializes in low hospital beds that are designed to prevent patient falls and related injuries within acute care environments. We are focused on patient and nurse safety and deliver innovative solutions to meet the needs of our customers.
2Solucient, LLC. (2003). National and Local Impact of Long-Term Demographic Change on Inpatient
Acute Care. Evanston, IL.
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