Currently, 11% of the U.S. population is 65 or older. It is projected that by the year 2050, this age group will comprise 20% of our population. Advances in medicine are continuing this trend as we increasingly survive threats to our health.
Source: CDC & US Census Bureau
The relative burden of older adults on the health care system will be substantial. It’s clear we will see a major shift in health care, with a significant percentage increase in medical visits for adults age 65 and older. Common comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis, combined with balance deficits and falls will create many opportunities for physical therapists to intervene and improve quality of life for these individuals. Chances are, you are going to work with older adults at some point during your career as a physical therapist. And if you’re interested in geriatric PT, you’ll quite likely have a job.
This week, we’re discussing the impact of our aging population on the physical therapy profession. What issues do you anticipate? How should we address these? What can we do to meet an increasing demand for older adult physical therapy?
We’ll discuss these and related questions next Wednesday, July 23rd at 8pm CST for the next #DPTstudent chat. See you there!
Laura Webb, SPT