The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the percentage of the country's entire population that was aged 55 and older in 2011 was 26.5 percent. That percentage is projected to increase to 31 percent of the population by 2030, according to AARP.org.
As we age, we tend to need more medical care. More medical care for a greater percentage of the country's population will mean a greater need for health professionals, including nurses.
Caring for the elderly when they're ill is much different than caring for someone who is younger. The elderly tend to have chronic conditions such as arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia, hearing loss or cataracts. These alone can take up a good deal of medical care. Couple these conditions with an illness or accident and the care needed can grow exponentially.
Whether you're a nurse, a hospital department manager or an executive at a healthcare facility, the time to get ready for the increasing elderly population is now.
These are some ways the elderly are different from other patients and steps nurses and their employers might want to take when caring for the elderly:
If you're a nurse, what steps have you taken to prepare yourself for dealing with a greater number of elderly patients? Have you gone back for certification or training? What training programs have you participated in, if any?
Are you a nurse with the travel bug? Have you heard about how great a career working as a traveler can be? Do you have some questions? Don't hesitate to contact us here at Health Providers Choice with any questions, no matter how small you think they may be.