Rhode Island’s older population is on the rise, and in 20 years a quarter of the state’s population will be older than 60. All this week, we’re looking at the state’s older residents in a series we’re calling “The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island.” RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay helps us kick off our series with a look at what this growing older population means for younger residents.

In coming years, we'll need 36,000, but we only have 7,000 right now, and not enough in the medical school pipeline.

A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine finds that nearly a quarter of Medicare recipients spend more than their total household assets on out-of-pocket health care costs in the last five years of their lives. That’s in co-payments, home health care, things Medicare doesn’t cover.

Under the health care reform act, many preventive services like diabetes screenings, bone mass measurement, and so-called “Wellness” visits are now available for free (no co-payment) to Medicare recipients. (Medicare is health coverage for people over age 65.