The United States is an ageing society. This is having a major impact on the organization and delivery of health care. The population aged 85 and over, the group most likely to need health and long-term care services, is projected to increase by 350% between the years 2000 and 2050 (Humphreys, 2012). This is not necessarily the problem but instead the problem is that there is a slow-growth of working age population.
This means that there will be less people paying the taxes that are necessary to pay for public programs for the older population and less people available to provide the services that older people need (Humphreys, 2012). This older population is going to require that healthcare organizations and professionals focus on chronic diseases like heart disease and osteoporosis as opposed to acute illnesses. Medicine styles will need to change from one-time interventions to ongoing management of multiple diseases and disabilities (Humphreys, 2012).
Long term care services like nursing homes, home health, personal care, adult day care and congregate housing will become much more in demand due to this aging population as well. Health Care Related Challenges Two key health-related challenges that the ageing population has to deal with are the need for in-home medical care and increases in health care costs. Health care costs continue to rise because of the demand for health care. As the ageing population increases so will the cost for health care.
The problem is that there are more people over the age of 65 than ever before and there are not enough health care professionals available to provide the care these people need. The supply of acute and long-term care workers like nurses and paraprofessional staff, such as CNA’s; home health aides; and personal care attendants is down (Butler, 1997). This is mainly due to low wages and benefits, hard working conditions, heavy workloads and a job that is stigmatized by society so it makes it difficult to recruit and retain these types of employees (Butler, 1997).
All these factors affect health care and its costs. Chronic Disease Wellness Program A Chronic Disease Wellness Program would affect the costs of healthcare for the ageing population in a positive way. This type of program would empower older people to adopt healthy behaviors, improve health status, and manage chronic conditions better. The program would enable ageing networks to have the capacity to deliver evidence based programs. If people are educated on how to better manage their health, the cost for health care would not have to increase.
These programs are intended to increase self-efficacy, decrease health service utilization, and enable participants to adopt healthy self-management behaviors thus decreasing the need to increase health care costs. Marketing Needs and Society The demographics of the ageing population tell us that marketing must be geared toward seniors. Marketing must target an older population to gain their interests. Healthcare organization and professionals need to market the different programs that can benefit an older population. More programs need to be available and affordable for the aging population.
Without the publication of such programs, seniors are left guessing on where to go for help. Society and the communities within it must communicate the different opportunities available to all age groups (Rooney, 2009). Many organizations like local community hospitals offer programs to health seniors. Many hospitals offer health screenings, and wellness programs for all age groups. Community leaders need to get involved with the healthcare organizations in their neighborhood to help market the programs that are available to the community (Rooney, 2009).
They can also help get other organizations get involved with funding such programs. Overall the aging population needs to educate themselves regarding their own health and how to better manage it. This can help to stop the rise of health care costs. Programs need to be made available for seniors so they can be proactive with their health and the programs need to be marketed well within the community. If society worked as a whole to educate them regarding health and were proactive about having healthier lifestyles it could help bring down the cost of healthcare.