Demographics Paper

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The expected growth of the aging population in Louisiana is expected to grow and will have a tremendous impact on our healthcare system in the years to come. In the past, the increased growth of the aging population was not a problem. Presently it is becoming a problem. One major impact is the need for health care workers. Healthcare workers are decreasing because physicians and other health care workers are retiring. When people get older, they also need more healthcare services. The demand for healthcare services is growing because of the older adult population. Baby boomers from years ago are growing and maturing. In the meantime, fertility rates are declining. This is what is leading to the increased aging population in Louisiana. The aging population is living longer because of new technologies extending their years. Demographics are constantly changing and so are healthcare costs in result. The government is implementing plans to tackle the problems associated with the aging population. It is not an easy task. It is very challenging and difficult to implement successful changes. However, the future is looking very good for the aging population if the government can provide solutions to the barriers caused from the growth of the aging population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “the percentage of persons in Louisiana 65 and older is 12.3%.” Statistics show how much of an impact the aging population has on health care services and costs. “The aging of the population of Louisiana is one of the most important demographic trends affecting the state. Estimates show that Louisiana has approximately 436,992 caregivers, who provide more than 468 million hours of care valued at more than $4.6 billion.” That goes to show just how important it is that fertility rates increase. We are in desperate need for health care workers to care for the aging population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007).” Not only are we in need for workers, but we are also losing money as the aging population increases. Louisiana is now facing a serious problem that could seriously affect the population and healthcare costs. “Louisiana’s birth rate is declining, which means our state is aging (Jones, 2007).” The number of elderly people is continuing to grow. The numbers of births are continuing to decline. The only solution is to increase fertility rates by having more babies. The impending growth of the elderly population will require Medicare and Medicaid services to change based on the needs of the population. In recent years, healthcare costs were much lower. Healthcare costs have increased because of the need for services among the elderly population. The changing patterns will focus on the needs of the patient. When health care costs go up, many citizens are unable to afford health insurance. Therefore, many patients will go untreated because they are unable to pay for their healthcare costs. There are two problems here. Patients are going without care and their health problems and conditions could get worse because of a lack of healthcare. According to Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, 2004, “at the current rate of growth of health care costs and with the population aging, assuming no fundamental changes, 28% of the American economy will be spent on health care by 2030. More than one-third of national health care expenditures are currently attributable to people 65 or older. In the next 20 years, half of all health care encounters will involve older adults.” These statistics show just how much a change is needed regarding our healthcare system and the aging population. It is becoming very difficult for healthcare organizations to plan for such a change. The community has been working to address challenges associated with the aging population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2005, “figures show that Louisiana will add 333,675 people by 2030, increasing the total population to 4.8 million. But higher growth rates elsewhere will drop Louisiana...
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