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Americans are Living Longer and in Greater Numbers
The population of older Americans is growing and living longer than ever. As a group, they are living active lives and contributing to the economy. The added years to the lifespans have resulted in a longer middle age—extending the period when workers are at their most productive and creative.
- 10,000 people are turning 65 a day
- 80 percent of people age 50 and older plan to work past 65
- People over 50 in the US contribute $7.6 trillion to the economy annually
Aging Brings Challenges
Aging brings an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia. For example, Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, is the 5th leading cause of death among older Americans. Older adults also face more challenges with everyday living activities.
- 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition
- 1 in 3 older adults has limitations in activities such as preparing meals and housekeeping
The Challenges of Caregiving and Caregivers
Birth rates are declining, posing a potential shortfall of caregivers, and that trend will continue. Caregivers themselves are at risk for health problems. Trends show they will be working longer hours and caring for people with more than one chronic disease.
Join us for this session of Public Health Grand Rounds as experts discuss the impact the aging population will have on their caregivers, the public health system, and the aging themselves. Hear what CDC and public health officials are doing and what needs to be done.
Beyond the Data
One of the fastest growing occupations in the US is “home health aides”. These workers are and will continue to be an important connection to our aging population. I’m interested what sort of initiatives CDC or others have to engage and support home health aides to ensure they are providing safe, quality and evidence-based care for older adults.
Several organizations are addressing the training needs of caregivers and home health aides to enhance and strengthen the quantity and quality of care for our older populations, as well as those with dementia. Please take a look at the following organizations’ websites for more information and resources: The Department of Health and Human Services has an Eldercare Locator with resources: http://www.eldercare.gov/ELDERCARE.NET/Public/Resources/Factsheets/Home_Health_Care.aspx This Eldercare page has links to other federal agencies working on similar issues: http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Resources/Federal_Websites.aspx The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving: http://www.rosalynncarter.org/education_and_training/ The National Alliance for Caregiving: http://www.caregiving.org/ The Alzheimer’s Association: http://www.alz.org/health-care-professionals/patient-information-education-care-resources.asp
Working at the hospital, we have to talk about end-of-life care. That is one of the biggest expenditures and needs to be addressed even though it's a hard subject to talk about. And by elderly I'm in patients over 85 with multiple systemic diseases with sub-optimal quality of life.
Advanced care planning is an important part of chronic disease self-management in older adults. CDC has developed an advanced care planning course (available at https://www.cdc.gov/aging/advancecareplanning/care-planning-course.htm) that prepares care providers to assist in this important role.
- Sarah Lenz Lock, JD
- Senior Vice President for Policy, American Association of Retired Persons
Executive Director, Global Council on Brain Health
"Promoting Health, Well-being, and Independence as We Age"
- Matthew Baumgart, BA
- Senior Director for Public Policy
"Healthy Body, Healthy Brain: The State of the Science and the Way Forward"
- Grace Whiting, JD
- Chief Operating Officer
National Alliance for Caregiving
"Healthy Caregiver, Healthy Patient: Importance of Healthy Aging for Caregivers"
- John Iskander, MD, MPH
- Scientific Director
- Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH
- Deputy Scientific Director
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CDC Course Code: PHGR10
CPE UAN: 0387-0000-17-023-H04-P
- Page last reviewed: February 28, 2018
- Page last updated: February 28, 2018
- Content source:
- Office of the Associate Director for Science
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication