Over the past 60 years, the social fabric of Florida has evolved with a speed previously unimaginable. Tremendous population growth, unprecedented technological developments and seemingly magical advances in medicine and health care have rocketed Florida from a sleepy subtropical paradise to the forefront of the modern world.
- Over the past six decades, Florida’s population has undergone a rapid growth, this year becoming the third most populous state in the United States.
- Florida already has a large population of elders, and that trend will continue to accelerate. Persons age 65 and older currently make up about 18.2 percent of Florida’s population. By 2020, more than one in five Floridians is expected to be part of this age group, and by 2030 it will be almost one in four.
- As Florida adds almost a quarter-million additional residents each year through 2030, the majority of these new residents – 56.9 percent of them – will be age 60 and older.
- Florida has the highest median age of any state at 40.7 years. At the same time, the state’s age dependency ratio – the share of residents whose advanced age makes them dependent on others – is the nation’s highest at 28.5 percent, more than one-third higher than the U.S. average of 20.7 percent.
Continuum of Care Quality Trends
- Florida has become a leader in offering long term care options for families. The portion of people residing in skilled nursing centers (often referred to as nursing homes) is far smaller in Florida than in other states. Instead, home- and community-based care programs provide affordable and comfortable options for many families. For those residents who do seek skilled nursing care, Florida facilities have become nationally noted for their outstanding quality and high standards.
- In 2014, U.S. News & World Report named 205 Florida skilled nursing centers to its “Best in Nursing Homes” list, representing almost 30 percent of all Florida centers. The report awarded five stars – the highest ranking possible – to 10 percent more Florida skilled nursing centers than the previous year. In addition, Florida skilled nursing centers receive far fewer deficiencies than the national rate for actual harm or jeopardy – only 9.4 percent of Florida centers received this category of deficiencies compared with the national average of 21.9 percent.
- The Florida Gold Seal Award program was established in 2002 and implemented by the Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long Term Care. Today, Florida boasts 23 Gold Seal skilled nursing centers, each of which has been recognized for demonstrating the highest standards of quality care and quality of life for its residents.
- In numerous other national measures, Florida’s skilled nursing centers provide better care for their residents, and those residents report far fewer problems. Florida fares better than the national averages in measurements of such things as skilled nursing center residents reporting moderate to severe pain; residents receiving anti-psychotics (absent condition); and residents reported to have little to no activity.