By the year 2050, the number of citizens 60 years and older is expected to nearly double from 11% to 22% (Kanasi, Ayilavarapu, & Jones, 2016). For healthcare, this means an increase in the amount of patient’s requiring medical services. Preparing for this large increase in demand for the need of healthcare may require additional education and training to health care workers. With a large increase in diabetes, hypertension, and other risk factors for the development of threatening conditions, education has been a main priority in caring for the elderly. Additionally, diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s require a more specialized approach. In the article titled, ” Population Aging, the Needs of the Elderly and Challenges for Nursing” discusses the need for specialized courses in gerontology for nurses that need to be implemented in order to increase knowledge and skills in caring for the elderly (Savic, Zurc, & Touzery, 2010). Additionally, a common concern is that the average lifespan is increasing, meaning individuals needs to be prepared financially for the future. We all know of the hardships many U.S. citizens undergo in receiving low cost healthcare. With the aging population, there will be many more individuals requiring higher level care and they need the financial support to allow them to receive the medications and care they require. The healthcare system needs to be prepared for the large increase in geriatric patients seen in the upcoming years.
Kanasi, E., Ayilavarapu, S., & Jones, J. (2016). The aging population: demographics and the biology of aging. Periodontology 2000, 72(1), 13-18. doi:10.1111/prd.12126
Savic, B., Zurc, J., & Touzery, S. (2010). Population ageing, the needs of the elderly and challenges for nursing. Obzornik Zdravstvene Nege, 44(2), 89-100.