The Aging Population Of America

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The aging population in America is growing quickly and is projected to double by the year 2050. The current growth in the number and proportion of older adults in the United States is unprecedented in our nation’s history. By 2050, it is anticipated that Americans aged 65 or older will number nearly 89 million people (The State of Aging and Health in America, 2013). Along with this increase in the aging population, it is estimated that by the year 2020, 157 million Americans will have some form of chronic illness (Taking Care: Ethical Caregiving in Our Society, 2005). With advances in medicine, people are able to live longer lives with chronic illnesses that in the past resulted in a decreased life expectancy.
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To compensate for this, many are looking towards helping older adults stay in their home for as long as possible, even if they experience functional or cognitive impairments. This idea is known as aging in place. In the USA, 95% of adults over the age of 75 want to age in place. There are benefits and challenges to aging in place. The benefits of aging in place are that it improves perceived quality of life and is cost-effective, whereas the challenges include declines in cognitive and functional abilities of older adults, as well as time pressures on formal and informal caregivers who must visit older adults in their homes throughout the community (Connelly, Laghari, Mokhtari, & Falk, 2014).
Fortunately, there are technologies that can assist with aging in place. These technologies produce better health outcomes, lower caregiver burden, and save money over the life of the individual. There are several types of technologies which will be discussed in this paper, which include technologies that provide education and support social networking, technologies that support monitoring and management of health and well-being, and chronic conditions, and finally technologies that support interactions with the healthcare system (Marchibroda, 2015). This research paper will show that the use of technology will greatly benefit the elderly population in helping them to age in place.
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