Americans are going to get a lot older over the next 30 years. That’s not just an obvious statement about aging: the share of senior citizens in our country is projected to get much, much bigger. Researchers think seniors will account for 25% of Americans by 2060. It’s a population shift often referred to as the Silver Tsunami.
The impact of that change is on us now. And it’s putting a lot of pressure on the healthcare industry. There’s greater demand for care-giving services and treatment for chronic disease, and it’s getting harder to fill it.
Caring for people is a stressful business, but a rewarding one. Susan Amos has worked in healthcare and senior care since the 1990s. Today, she’s the Chief Marketing Officer for Senior Helpers, a senior care-giving franchise she bought in 2017 and then sold in 2023. But not before growing the company rapidly with her business partner. Her Senior Helpers unit doubled its business in its first year alone. Today it cares for 115 people with a long waiting list.
Susan also serves on the board of the Lafayette Council on Aging and on the advisory board of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Lack of access to care is a big hurdle, particularly in rural communities. In St. Landry Parish, for instance, there isn’t a higher rate of cancer diagnoses. But there is a higher rate of cancer deaths. That’s in part because St. Landry is what researchers call an underserved market. The Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center opened a location in Opelousas to close that gap.
Mary Bird is a well known name in cancer care. It provides a wide scope of services with locations across South Louisiana and in Mississippi. Jodi Conachen is Mary Bird’s Chief Operating Officer.
Jodi comes from the marketing world. She’s worked for Community Coffee, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and Women’s Hospital. She joined Mary Bird in 2019 as VP of marketing and became COO in 2023.