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Health & Well-Being » Summary

Why It's Important

Healthy Aging is a positive concept of wellness based on evidence that attitudes and lifestyle behaviors can enhance the body's maintenance of functional ability and assist in recovery from decline secondary to illness and disease. Positive lifestyle behaviors, prevention by regular evidence based screening practices, and appropriate management of acute and chronic conditions all play important roles in achieving the goal of healthy aging. In turn, the issues of accessibility, affordability and the need for providers with adequate training in the care of the elderly are also critically important factors in healthy aging. The importance of health and well being of our aging population are reflected in such different and vital areas as demand on the health care services, housing, transportation, and the individual's ability to contribute to society.

How Richmond Is Doing

According to Genworth's Cost of Care Survey, 2009, except for home-based health care, the costs of long-term care also are poised for steady increases.

  • The cost of labor is a key factor driving the price of care at facilities, though that has abated somewhat because of the availability of workers as unemployment has risen and because of higher retention rates.
  • In Richmond and Roanoke, the cost for a private room has risen 8 percent a year since 2005 and 5 percent a year in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach region.
  • The median annual cost for a private nursing home room in Richmond is $78,658.
  • In Richmond, costs for a private room in an assisted-living facility rose even faster, increasing 16 percent a year over the past five years to a median annual cost of $37,752.
  • A bright spot in the company's survey is the relatively flat cost of in-home care. The hourly cost for in-home care for non-Medicare-certified workers rose a half-percent to $18.50 from a year ago and increased 1.7 percent annually over the past five years.
  • In Richmond, however, the median rate is $19, which represents an annual growth rate of 5 percent since 2005. The cost ranges from $15 to $21 in Virginia.



Rate of nursing home residence among people age 65 and over, by age group, selected years 1985-2004


Percent of medicare enrollees age 65 and over residing in selected residential settings, by age group, 2005

How Virginia Is Doing

  • Four in five (79%) Boomers rate their health a 4 or 5 on a 1 to 5 scale (ODP RESIDENT 2008)
  • Three in ten (30%) say their health is "excellent" (ODP RESIDENT 2008)

Three in 10 say their health i s"Excellent", Richmond MSA


Prepared to navigate issues on aging, Richmond MSA


How the U.S. Is Doing

Percentage of People age 65 and over who reported having good to excellent health, by age group and race and hispanic origin, 2004-2006


According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER):

  • 60 percent of 51- to 56-year-old Boomer men born from 1948 to 1953 had chronic health problems, compared with 53 percent of the cohort born from 1936 to 1941 at the same ages.


Percentage of people age 65 and over who reported having selected chronic conditions, by sex, 2005-2006


  • National Family Caregivers Association & Family Caregiver Alliance provides an estimated prevalence and economic value of caregiving by state.
  • In 2004, there were an estimated 27 million caregivers (according to SIPP) and 30.7 million caregivers (according to NSFH). The average of these two estimates was used to arrive at a mid-range estimate of the number of caregivers nationally -- 28.8 million.

Estimated Pevalence and Economic Value of

Family Caregiving by State


Number of Caregivers


Caregiving hours per year (millions)
Annual market value
(millions of dollars)
(Ranked #12)
740,402 793 $7,868
United States 28,827,766 30,880 $306,333



Data & Information Sources

Atlas of Community Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics 

Genworth Financial, Cost of Care Survey, 2009

Health Finder, US Department of Health and Human Services

Medline Plus 

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1990

National Family Caregivers Association and Family Caregivers Alliance, Hours and Economic Value of Family Caregiving, Updated State-by-State Analysis of 2004 National Estimates by Peter S. Arno, PhD. Kensington, MD, 2006

ODP, Residents' Study, 2008

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey

US Department of Health and Human Services

US Food and Drug Administration

Virginia Department for the Aging, 2004 Health Conditions, Disability and Mortality Estimates, 2004