• Supporting Clients

    Posted on June 29th, 2008

    Written by Jaimie

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    Yes, there is a population that needs services. This population is growing and by 2050 the 65+ population will reach 19 million as projected by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Statistics (agingstats.gov). Currently, the 85+ population is the fastest growing segment of our population

    The baby boomers have done a lot to change our nation. They were, and are still, the largest group to hit all the major life milestones. And they have done a great deal to change the functions of our governmental, social, and community systems. For example, when the boomers went to college in the ’60s and ’70s the enrollment numbers rose drastically, so much that many colleges were forced to increase their capacity (Centra, 1980). Now, the boomers are reaching a new milestone, and again, they will help to change how our current system operates. Already, those who are considered older adults, the boomer’s parents, have done what they can to change what it means to age. These people are living longer and some argue healthier, and more meaningful lives. Yet still, there is a lack of services for those categorized as the old old. Never before has this country seen such growth in this sector of the population. We were, and still are, not ready, and we need to adjust.

    The population exists, but do the services? I will argue that no, the services aren’t there. But why? This question is something that deserves more research. What is known, is that not only are there few professionals trained to work with this specific and diverse population, but there are even fewer organizations to higher these specialists. I am speaking more to the need for social work, psychologist, and other social service provider job openings. These jobs should be created to help service the older adult. The greatest need for this population is, and will always be, adequate health care.

    There are close to 9,000 Geriatricians and 2,400 geropsychiatrists in the United States according to the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging (healthinaging.org). These physicians’ specialization is not only a title any doctor can give her/himself. It requires special training and a license that is rewarded to those well versed in knowledge of the older adult’s health care needs This profession is quite often complicated by the patient’s multiple health problems and disabilities which many older adults face.

    There are hospitals and universities around the country that have geriatric clinics, but few are profitable enough to receive the benefits of a more revenue gaining department of medicine. This also means that the Geriatrician is paid less, and is often very over worked simply because there are few of them, and a sea of patients in need. Perhaps if the health care system, hospitals, and universities were capable of providing the space and support, the specialist would be more able to provide the services.

    I do not have the answer. My question is this, how do we provide the services if there are not services to provide?

    This entry was posted on Sunday, June 29th, 2008 at 5:07 pm and is filed under Supporting Clients. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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