The expected growth of the aging population in Louisiana is expected to grow and will have a tremendous impact on our healthcare system in the years to come. In the past, the increased growth of the aging population was not a problem. Presently it is becoming a problem. One major impact is the need for health care workers. Healthcare workers are decreasing because physicians and other health care workers are retiring. When people get older, they also need more healthcare services. The demand for healthcare services is growing because of the older adult population. Baby boomers from years ago are growing and maturing.
In the meantime, fertility rates are declining. This is what is leading to the increased aging population in Louisiana. The aging population is living longer because of new technologies extending their years. Demographics are constantly changing and so are healthcare costs in result. The government is implementing plans to tackle the problems associated with the aging population. It is not an easy task. It is very challenging and difficult to implement successful changes. However, the future is looking very good for the aging population if the government can provide solutions to the barriers caused from the growth of the aging population.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, “the percentage of persons in Louisiana 65 and older is 12. 3%. ” Statistics show how much of an impact the aging population has on health care services and costs. “The aging of the population of Louisiana is one of the most important demographic trends affecting the state. Estimates show that Louisiana has approximately 436,992 caregivers, who provide more than 468 million hours of care valued at more than $4. 6 billion. ” That goes to show just how important it is that fertility rates increase. We are in desperate need for health care workers to care for the aging population (U. S. Census Bureau, 2007). ” Not only are we in need for workers, but we are also losing money as the aging population increases. Louisiana is now facing a serious problem that could seriously affect the population and healthcare costs. “Louisiana’s birth rate is declining, which means our state is aging (Jones, 2007). ” The number of elderly people is continuing to grow. The numbers of births are continuing to decline. The only solution is to increase fertility rates by having more babies. The impending growth of the elderly population will require Medicare and Medicaid services to change based on the needs of the population.
In recent years, healthcare costs were much lower. Healthcare costs have increased because of the need for services among the elderly population. The changing patterns will focus on the needs of the patient. When health care costs go up, many citizens are unable to afford health insurance. Therefore, many patients will go untreated because they are unable to pay for their healthcare costs. There are two problems here. Patients are going without care and their health problems and conditions could get worse because of a lack of healthcare.
According to Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, 2004, “at the current rate of growth of health care costs and with the population aging, assuming no fundamental changes, 28% of the American economy will be spent on health care by 2030. More than one-third of national health care expenditures are currently attributable to people 65 or older. In the next 20 years, half of all health care encounters will involve older adults. ” These statistics show just how much a change is needed regarding our healthcare system and the aging population. It is becoming very difficult for healthcare organizations to plan for such a change.
The community has been working to address challenges associated with the aging population. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, 2005, “figures show that Louisiana will add 333,675 people by 2030, increasing the total population to 4. 8 million. But higher growth rates elsewhere will drop Louisiana from the 22nd most populist state in the nation to 26th by 2030. ” This has already begun to happen. Another thing that Louisiana is doing to address major challenges is increasing the wages for healthcare workers. When there is a shortage of jobs, graduate students see this as a golden opportunity to make more money.
It gives students motivation and encouragement to get into the field right away. Louisiana is making positive moves to change the way it uses federal Medicaid funds as well. The community is making every effort to combat the problems associated with the aging population, such as the increased health care costs, infertility rates, and need for health care workers. Implementing these changes in Louisiana will be very effective and create a healthy population growth. Chronic disease wellness programs are a great way to decrease healthcare costs and improve healthcare productivity.
Because of the rise in health care costs, the government is looking for new strategies to lower healthcare costs. Researchers believe that chronic wellness programs are the answer. “Wellness programs have proved to be cost effective and the return on investment has been well worth the initial cost (David, 2010). ” Helping the aging population develop a healthy lifestyle increases productivity and lower health care costs and insurance premiums. If we do not create chronic disease wellness programs, we will not gain anything. As a matter of fact, we will be paying more for insurance and set back from improved productivity.
The need for lowered healthcare costs is pushing government officials to implement chronic disease wellness programs throughout the state and the country. “Health promotion programs or Wellness programs are geared to improve employee’s physical, emotional, and psychological health (David, 2010). ” It is better to spend a little money to gain a lot of money instead of losing money due to the lack of healthcare knowledge and motivation of patients and employees. Chronic disease wellness programs improve cash flows for organizations and also keep people healthy.
Many people decide to change their lifestyles after these interventions. These programs provide so many great benefits that it would be foolish for the government to reject or ignore them. The aging population is more likely to need healthcare products and services as they age. “Unfortunately, elderly adults are often confronted with sales gimmicks, advertisements, telephone solicitations, or mailings that promote products that have no value in treating a physical or psychological problem and can, at times, actually be harmful to the individual (Ryder, 2011). It is important for the older generation to feel safe and secure buying the necessary products to help with their medical conditions. In order to market products to patients, organizations can promote them through doctor’s offices. This way the patient knows that the organization selling the product is not a scam. If the product is not being sold through the doctor’s office, the patient can always ask his or her doctor if the product being used is safe to use. When marketing a product, I would point out to the patient that the product is FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved.
This will let the patient know that the product is safe to use and does work to treat medical problems. As the young generation grows old, there is an increased need for services and products. The aging population usually have many more doctor visits, prescription drugs, need for beds in hospitals, need for healthcare services and products than the young generation. This is driving healthcare costs up at a remarkably increasing rate. There are many challenges being faced by the aging population and healthcare organizations because of people growing old.
Louisiana has a desperate need for more health care workers and more births in order healthcare costs. Growing old is what is causing this. The community is trying to come up with solutions to decrease healthcare costs and promote the need for more healthcare workers. A couple solutions have already been made, such as offering more money to college students who are inspiring to be healthcare professionals, adopting chronic disease wellness programs, increasing fertility rates, and watching how Louisiana spends their Medicaid funds. It is crucial for us to consider how we will be able to care for the aging population and at what cost.
As one’s body becomes frail, older adults are highly likely to be in and out of health care settings for medical care. Health care professionals must be able to provide quality care to the elderly based on their individual needs. A more viable elder healthcare system is essential. The population is growing faster than the economy. Louisiana and its communities are facing many challenges as the population ages. However, there are many steps being taken by government that will help improve our healthcare system and services being provided to patients. It is a difficult process, but in the end is more than worth it.
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