The number of people over 65 years of age represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but is expected to grow to be 19% by 2030. That means that 72.1 million older people will be seeking health care from a variety of sources in the next 20 years. This creates an environment in which specialists in geriatric health are highly sought after to deal with the specific and various issues that affect aging patients. These patients are highly likely to have chronic health issues that require long term care, either in a specialized facility or in the home. A proactive approach to managing older patients’ health is necessary to ensure that each patient gets the highest quality of care.
Nurses are front-line health professionals for the elderly. Planning for long-term care requires nurses to have the appropriate education to support the elderly and their families.