demographic changes healthcare
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Demographic changes healthcare

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This is important to note. If there are developed countries around the world where demographics point to a steady decline in population, then the type of healthcare provided will be different than what is currently used.

Clinical laboratories and pathology groups in those regions can expect changes and should prepare for them. Your email address will not be published. It will soon exceed younger portions of the population, thus shifting demand for healthcare from pediatrics to geriatrics. Anatomic pathology groups and clinical laboratories will be impacted by this trend. Graphic copyright: US Census Bureau.

The graphic above, taken from PopulationPyramid. Medical laboratories in those nations will continue to be affected by how these demographic shifts taking place worldwide are changing the type of healthcare in highest demand. Graphic copyright: PopulationPyramid. Submit a Comment Your email address will not be published. While this rate of growth is projected to drop after , there will continue to be a large proportion of elderly persons in the population.

About 40 to 50 years from now it is likely that there will be more elderly persons than young persons under 15 years of age in the United States. These projections take on added importance when the age distribution and the racial and ethnic composition of the projected elderly population are considered. The elderly population is growing older. The population aged 85 and older is the fastest growing age group in the U.

It is also the most rapidly growing age group among the elderly population. Fewer children and increasing life expectancy have contributed to this shift in the population composition. A year-old person can expect to live another 17 years, and those who live to age 85 have an average of 6 more years of life remaining NCHS, b. This rapid growth of the oldest-old population will have a major effect on the health care system in terms of services needed, education, training and experience of health personnel, knowledge of diseases and treatments for the aged, and demands on resources for the services used by this segment of the population.

Number of people 85 years and older, United States, — middle series projections. We speak of "the elderly" as if they were a homogeneous group. Like the rest of the population in the country, they vary widely in terms of their racial composition, ethnic origin, socioeconomic circumstances, family composition, living arrangements, and health care needs. An important factor with major implications for the future course of the nation's elderly is the changing racial and ethnic composition of the U.

Since , the growth of minority populations as a whole has been substantially greater than that of the white population.

As a result, each of the minority racial and ethnic groups increased during the s as a proportion of the total population, while the non-Hispanic white population declined as a proportion of the total population. Under current assumptions, this trend is projected to accelerate in the years to come, leading to increasing racial and ethnic diversity of the population: by the year , the non-Hispanic white population will account for a little more than half of the nation's people 53 percent.

The Hispanic population will experience the largest increase, reaching 21 percent of the total population by The black population is projected to double its present size by the middle of the next century. Although starting from a much smaller base, and therefore adding fewer people, the Asian and Pacific Islander population is projected to be the fastest growing racial group, with annual growth rates that may exceed 4 percent during the s.

As with the total population, the elderly population today is predominantly white, but more racial and ethnic diversity can be expected in the years ahead see Figure 2. The Hispanic population is projected to account for an increasingly larger proportion of the elderly population as the large numbers of current immigrants begin to age. In , 1 in 10 elderly were of a race other than white.

By , this proportion is expected to rise to 2 in The share of the elderly who are of Hispanic or Asian origin is expected to increase rapidly in the coming decades Bureau of the Census and the National Institute on Aging, b. Percent of population 65 years and older by race and hispanic origin, United States, and In general, minority groups reach old age with fewer economic resources, and they tend to have less education than do non-Hispanic whites.

They may also have distinctive health needs, and some—especially immigrant minorities—may follow the diets, health practices, and beliefs of their cultures, which may not always be well understood by some care givers. Thus, as the ranks of the elderly minorities grow, their needs, values, and preferences may necessitate fundamental changes in programs and services for the health care of the elderly. Access to health care is a function of socioeconomic status, but also to some extent, level of acculturation, ranging from family structure, to education, and facility with the language.

Such sociocultural barriers could arise because of differences between receivers and givers of care related to health beliefs and behavior or knowledge about medical services. These differences could make patients reluctant to seek care or comply with prescribed treatments, make care givers insensitive to the needs of patients, and strain relationships between the institutions and their communities. These barriers often are compounded by inadequate command of the English language.

Many elderly immigrants speak little or no English. In , 1 in 7 Americans—nearly 32 million people—spoke a language other than English at home, up from 23 million in Although fluency in multiple languages is an advantage, speaking a language other than English at home is often a marker for families that are not fluent in English.

Among those who speak a language other than English at home, 2 persons in 10 either have very limited English skills or do not speak the language at all.

Nearly 1 million persons live in "linguistic isolation," that is, in households where no one aged 14 or older spoke English at all Bureau of the Census, The implications of these trends are immense for providing culturally sensitive care and interaction between patients and providers at all levels, and for planning the supply and distribution of nursing personnel.

More women survive to old age than men. In , elderly women outnumbered elderly men by a ratio of 3 to 2, and this difference increases markedly with advancing age. After age 75, most elderly men are married and living with their spouse. Women are more than three times as likely as men to be widowed and living alone. Thus, most elderly men have a spouse for assistance when health fails. The likelihood of living alone increases with age, but much more so for women Bureau of the Census, b.

Changing patterns of family formation and composition late marriages, smaller families, divorce, childlessness mean that whereas today's elderly generally have children to turn to when in need, the elderly baby-boomer generation will have far fewer family resources, and specifically fewer younger persons to take care of them.

As more persons live longer, issues surrounding the care of the elderly will become more prevalent. Increasingly, those who may be considered the "young old" i. According to the Bureau of the Census, the parent support ratio defined as the number of persons aged 85 and over per persons aged 50 to 64 has tripled from 3 in to 9 in ; this ratio is expected to triple again by the middle of the next century, increasing to 27 Bureau of the Census, c; Bureau of the Census and the National Institute on Aging, a.

See Figure 2. Parent support ratio, United States, — number of people 85 years and older per persons 50—64 years old, middle series projections. The to year age group is often referred to as the "sandwich generation" since they have responsibilities of caring for their children and at the same time of caring for their very old family members.

The problem of parent care affects working-age members of the family, especially women who historically have been the informal care givers in the family. With increasing numbers of women in the labor force, the demand for more formal care giver arrangements is increasing. Today's elderly on the average are economically better off and in better health than their counterparts of a few decades ago. Despite the overall improved economic condition of the elderly, significant income differences are observed among various subgroups.

In general, minorities, women, the very old, and those who are living alone are all vulnerable to low income and consequent poverty. About 12 percent of the elderly population is poor; the rates are 33 percent for older black persons and 22 percent for elderly Hispanic persons. Elderly women have a higher poverty rate 16 percent than men 9 percent. Many more of the elderly population are concentrated just above the poverty threshold Bureau of the Census, b, b.

Living alone is a significant indicator of the likelihood of an elderly person being poor. In , about 18 percent of elderly men and 27 percent of elderly women living alone were poor.

As in other characteristics of the elderly population, there were differences among the major racial and Hispanic-origin groups. Nearly 24 percent of elderly white women living alone were poor. One-half of the elderly women of Hispanic origin living alone and 58 percent of the black women living alone were poor Bureau of the Census and the National Institute on Aging, a. Social Security and Medicare have contributed in a large way to improve the economic well-being of the elderly.

However, Medicare pays for short stays in nursing homes after hospitalization, but does not cover long-term care. Much of the cost of long-term care is borne by the elderly and their families and only when their resources are depleted does Medicaid cover costs. The elderly persons' need for long-term care, at home or in an institution, for example, and the large role played by government programs, make the elderly population economically vulnerable Treas, a,b. Today's elderly persons are in better health than their counterparts of some years back.

The age-specific rates of disability have begun to decline, particularly among the very old Manton et al. Women 85 years of age can expect to live free of disability for two-thirds of their remaining life Suzman et al. At the same time, frailty is very common at an advanced age owing to disease, the aging process, disuse of muscles, neglect, or depression. Although the overall health of elderly persons has improved, many are dependent and frail, with one or more chronic conditions.

The risks of chronic conditions and functional impairments increase with age. Most elderly persons report at least one chronic condition such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, hearing impairments, osteoporosis, and senile dementia.

Some of these conditions may be life threatening; others affect the quality of life. The risk of chronic and disabling conditions increases with age. As more of the elderly live to the oldest ages, increasing numbers will face chronic, limiting illnesses or conditions. The prevalence of these major chronic conditions among the elderly is five times that observed in younger persons. These conditions result in dependence on others for assistance in performing the activities of daily living ADL , especially among the older elderly, portending a significant increase in the need for health care and social support services.

A person's health declines in older ages because of age-related chronic conditions and disabilities. The proportion of persons needing assistance in everyday activities increases with age. These facts suggest that a large number of elderly will seek hospitalization for serious acute and chronic conditions and they will seek long-term care as part of a continuum of care from independent living to assisted living to institutional care.

Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia in old age. The risk of the disease rises sharply with advancing age, from less than 4 percent of noninstitutionalized persons 65 to 74 years old to nearly half of those 85 years and older. It afflicted an estimated 3. It is a major reason for older persons' being institutionalized.

If no breakthrough occurs in prevention or cure, the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease will increase substantially in the years ahead as the oldest age groups in the elderly population increase. In , the number of persons 65 and older affected by Alzheimer's disease is estimated to be around 7.

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The De-Population Bomb

Demographic change is talked about most in relation to population growth. Causes of demographic change in developed countries include a variety of factors: (1) The changing . U.S. population demographics are undergoing striking changes that will impact health care and the research and practice of health psychology. An increase in the number of people who . Jul 29,  · New demographic update form Last modified: July 29, We’ve updated the Care Provider Demographic Information Update form open_in_new — the old form has been .