Many years ago, a writer coined the term “sandwich generation” to describe those who find themselves being “sandwiched” between raising a family and caring for an older parent. As Illinois’ population ages at a rapid rate, the challenges faced by those in the “sandwich generation” will only grow.
As of 2013, 1.7 million residents of Illinois were ages 65 and older. By 2050, that number is expected to nearly double, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts.
CMAP, the northeastern Illinois regional planning organization, recently analyzed U.S. Census Bureau population data from 2000 and 2010 to paint a picture of just how fast the state’s population is aging.
CMAP found an 8.8 percent increase over the course of that decade in the number of people ages 65 and older who live in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.
For many in the “sandwich generation,” the solution is to move an aging loved one into a nursing home facility. Unfortunately, in Illinois, it can be difficult to find a nursing home facility that can provide the quality of care and assurances of safety that a family is seeking. Problems in these facilities are widespread.
According to Nursing Home Compare, a federal government-run website that provides quality-of-care information for the nation’s Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes, more than 30,000 “deficiencies” were reported in Illinois facilities between February 2012 and May 2015. A “deficiency” is defined as a failure to meet federal standards.
Deficiencies in Illinois Nursing Homes Between February 2012 and May 2015
Additionally, between 2010 and 2014, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) took more than 2,000 disciplinary actions against nursing homes – mainly due to violations of the Nursing Home Care Act.