Ramping up to meet the emerging needs of our aging society

people running over clock

By 2020, “people aged 65 and over will outnumber children under age 5” for the first time in human history, according to a 2015 report by the U.S. Census Bureau.  

The United States’ aging population is burgeoning, and the challenges associated with meeting their health care needs have drawn national attention. The demand for safe, effective care is growing amid this impending crisis that affects the elderly, their caregivers and the gamut of health care professionals providing needed services and support. Health care systems have been called upon to expand services for older adults, a shift necessitated by the expanding aging population.

This is a watershed moment for nurses, an opportunity to take the lead in addressing challenges associated with the pressing need to deliver quality, affordable care to this vulnerable population. Addressing physical and psychological needs of older adults is of the utmost importance with rapidly changing care requirements. Nurses play a crucial role in care coordination, which is essential to supporting and improving health care delivery and patient outcomes.

Prescription opioid misuse; end-of-life care; caregiver stress, depression and anxiety; dementia care; and sleep concerns are primary focus areas for research to mitigate health risks and improve quality of life for the elderly and their families. Read about how our faculty and students are working to address difficult issues facing those who work in elder care.