For several years now, the United States has been at a near-crisis stage because of the nursing shortage. As a profession, nursing is the nation’s fastest-growing career, and currently there are approximately 3 million nurses in America. With the aging of the baby boom generation and the increased numbers of older adults, there is an urgent need for nurses and other clinical workers, which is currently insufficient as the supply simply cannot keep with the demand. In the coming years, just like many states across the country, Illinois is expected to face a shortage of registered nurses, says Yosef Meystel. He runs Aperion Care, a rehabilitation, skilled nursing, assisted living, and long-term living facilities in Illinois and Indiana. “Now, more than at any other time in the history of our nation, there are more Americans over the age of 65, and by 2030 the population of senior citizens is expected to increase by 75 percent“, says Meystel. Over the coming decade, he expects the doubling of the elderly population to cause a substantial increase in the number of people who will need long-term care. Thanks to the latest medical breakthroughs and public health improvements, today millions of seniors across the United States are living longer and healthier lives during their retirement years.
The first wave of baby boomers that retired seven years ago, made quite an impact on the U.S. economy. There are 77 million baby boomers or nearly one-quarter of the total population that are near retirement. Over the coming decade, the eventual retirement of this demographic group will slow labor force growth significantly. U.S policymakers need to consider factors that are beyond the current economic downturn and look at the decades that will come when it comes to the impending retirement of the baby boomers. Expanding the number of caregivers is the first and foremost thing that needs to be done in order to meet the increasing demand for healthcare and nursing services. Of course, as a society, we should also develop a comprehensive approach to the long-term care challenge and ensure that those changes would help make long-term care more affordable. Only a small number of seniors approaching retirement age have the resources to pay for nursing care. That is why family members often help finance these services. In the in upcoming decades demand for paid, long-term care is also expected to outpace the supply of qualified professionals.
For achieving healthcare efficiency and efficacy, we have introduced and applied technology. It is critical to promote healthy aging through increased use of health information technology. Patient tools such as apps and sites where people can share information about illnesses and treatments are important resources. Apart from promoting prevention and disease management, the public sector, as well as the private sector, need to invest in this research field, as research is the foundation for all medical and public health interventions. The Aperion Care and other geriatric facilities need to continue promoting healthy aging and help the baby boomer generation age gracefully.