Nicole E. Mosley
May 23, 2011
With the population of adults 65 and over steadily climbing, medical professionals and the healthcare system are struggling to keep up. One major issue concerning the healthcare system is that it is not set up properly provide care for these older adults. The physicians today, who regularly see patients, focus mainly has been; diagnose—usually in a 15-20 minute office visit, treat, and cure. Many of these senior citizens have multiple chronic illnesses or diseases, which require time to manage and treat. The problem is that they may not be able to explain what the real problem to a doctor in that time. One of the biggest concerns is the lack of capable physician who are trained to adequately care for those living longer lives. Since medical technology has progressed as it has, and people are living much longer; the amount of trained professionals needed to care for the elderly has increased. In 2004-05 there were 334 geriatric fellows in all years of training (2 yr. program). (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/livingold/, 2006) Studies show that 36,000 geriatric physicians will be required to provide the proper care. If the amount of students trained remains stable for the next 20 years, there would be less than a third of the projected geriatricians needed. There are some elderly adults who are still active and productive in society. They can still care for themselves without constant aid. On the other hand, there is a large amount of older adults who must depend solely on others. These people have usually lost some bodily function, whether it is a steadily fading vision or hearing, inability to control bladder or arthritis preventing regular movement. Without the ability to walk, feed themselves, and in many cases move at all, they are left at the mercy of family and friends. In an ideal world all responsibility to our senior citizens...