Our population is aging. This is a simple fact of U.S. culture. In fact, it’s believed that between now and 2050, the population over 65 will double. Adults over 85 will increase five times. As modern medicine is improving, people are living much longer than previous generations. But this also means that there will be significant changes in quality of life and long-term health care. If you’re thinking about a career in nursing, consider how an aging population will affect your experience now and in the future.
65 and older are not slowing down
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when most adults would retire after years of working, often a labor position, and slow down. But today, that isn’t the case. Many older adults are continuing to work well past 65 and retirement is anything but relaxation with travel and new careers as common “second acts.” This new normal is affecting health care in later years as well as the quality of life.
Baby Boomer expectations in healthcare
The baby boomers leading this charge are looking for something very different from their healthcare professionals. They want more one-on-one attention. But they also want more personal accountability on the part of their nursing professionals. For this reason, nursing homes and in-home healthcare are changing the way they provide long-term care for more active adults.
Investments in infrastructure for the future
This also means the general infrastructure of healthcare is changing as well. Medical professionals are seeking out new ways to connect with the older population and bring health care to them, often catering to their sense of convenience and comfort. For example, telemedicine is becoming a popular option so older adults can stay at home but still get the care they need for their simpler concerns.
Different options in long-term care
Another concern for many older adults is long-term care. There is a general distrust of traditional nursing home options, which is opening up opportunities for more flexible assisted living facilities or in-home healthcare services. This means there will be additional roles for nursing professionals as these care options evolve.
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