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Young Doctors Specializing in Elderly Care Getting Scarce

The US’ elderly population continues to grow at a rapid rate. The top three states with the highest population in terms of the elderly, Maine, Florida and West Virginia, however, experience dilemmas in line with this as with the population growth comes a decline in geriatricians or physicians specializing in elderly care. In Goldberg, West Virginia specifically, there are only 36 geriatricians versus the tidal wave of elderly in the state.

This deficiency in geriatricians is foreseen to get worse. According to a forecast, by 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be eligible for Medicare. With the present workforce, however, there seems to be unpreparedness for what is known as the “silver tsunami”, the wave of the elderly.

In the recent three years, no one has enrolled for the geriatric fellowship programs in West Virginia, to be exact. The situation is more or less the same in other states. The US has a total of 130 programs for geriatricians with 383 positions. This year, only 192 have been filled.

True enough, this issue has to be taken care of. Anticipating the influx of the elderly in the coming years, without serious attention, there may come a time when our elderly loved ones won’t get the proper care they deserve. Whether they’ll receive home health care servicesor what not, it’s high time that this concern be given careful consideration.

— Image Courtesy of Free Stock Photos

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