Senior population booming, but services are lagging

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The latest U.S. census numbers show the Austin area has the third fastest growing senior population in the country, but not all of the services can keep up with the demand.

For Dave Ritchey, retirement life has been more fun that he ever imagined. These days he puts on more miles on his golf cart than his car.

GOING IN-DEPTH // Senior Population

  • The Brookings Institution shows over the last decade the Austin Metro area experienced a 110 percent increase in the number of pre-seniors.
  • Travis County grew by 22 percent overall since 2010. In Williamson County the same age group grew 33 percent in that time. Hays County saw a 40 percent jump in seniors.
  • Since 2010 the Travis County senior population, those aged 65 to 69, has grown more than 20 percent. Williamson County jumped by a third and Hays County saw a 40 percent increase in the senior population.

“When we go on vacation whether it’s a cruise or traveling,” he added. Ritchey currently lives in Sun City. “We come back to this part of the area and it’s like coming back from a vacation, to a vacation.”

Ritchey is one of the many seniors that could have retired in Florida or South Texas but he chose Sun City, just north of Austin, instead.

“Medical facilities that are around this Central Texas area are excellent,” he said. “Places to go visit, museums, travel, the Hill Country naturally is a big draw.”

Census numbers show the area also has the fastest pre-senior population too, which includes people ages 55-64.

But not all seniors are getting their needs met. Family Eldercare says affordable housing is in high demand in Central Texas, more caregivers are needed, along with more healthcare facilities.

“This is a perfect location, right in the middle of the state,” said Darrell West. “You can go anywhere in Georgetown in 15 to 20 minutes. It’s very appealing.”

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