The Older Population

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THE OLDER POPULATION

Gray is the new color of the world population. Today the globe is home to two billion people over the age of sixty, a group that is growing five times as quickly as the population as a whole. Of those, one hundred and eleven million are in the United States alone. With our elderly population increasing; we will have to find ways to care for them. According to the Census Bureau, more people were 65 and over in 2010, and increased at a faster rate than the total U.S. population (Census the older population 2010). Can the U.S. support its growing population of the elderly, provide proper care for those with mental health issues, and how will the population growth of the elderly affect long term care and spending? As the population 65 years and over steadily increased throughout the twentieth century, the older population reached its highest level at 40.3 million in 2010, up from 35 million in 2000 (Census the older population, 2010). The flood of elderly Americans is putting severe financial stress on programs that benefit older citizens. For example, a major issue for many care homes is the shortage of registered nurses (RN’s), and in successive surveys nurses report that the mismatch between care need and RN availability has a negative effect on quality of care provided (Nursing Assessment and older people 2004a, 2010). The Average ratio in care homes with nursing has been reported as one RN caring for 17 to 35 residents (Nursing Assessment and older people 2004a, 2010). One of the biggest issues is mental health and most costly aspects of health care are the treatment of chronic diseases. It will be hard to make insurance affordable without changing how chronic disease is treated. Seventy-five percent of total health care spending in the United States in 2007 went towards the treatment of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and asthma (Thorp, 2012). TYPES OF MENTAL ILLNESS AND DISCRIPTIONS

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