It is the time of baby boomers throughout America, but in Kern County caretakers and physicians are looking to provide solutions to this problem. A report from the area’s Aging and Adult Services Department has shown that the number of baby boomers is almost 178,000 across the nation. (Baby boomers are those aged 48 to 66). As CAO of KMC Dr. Eric vanSonnenberg pointed out, “geriatrics is absolutely becoming a booming area.” The problem is the healthcare workforce is just not equipped to deal with this, according to a report in 2008 from the Institute of Medicine. Indeed, it found that there is only one geriatrician for every 2,500 seniors in America.
What can be Done?
According to experts in the area from kern City, the way to deal with this is not by just training more doctors but for physicians across the board to “think differently and communicate more.” For example, if a patient comes in with various ailments including mental issues, the physician should be able to prescribe medications but it might end up too costly for the individual on a low (fixed) income. Thus if there is a social worker on board, he/she can help with the financial issue and maybe find a generic pill that could reduce costs.
So basically, to improve the situation for the elderly, doctors and caretakers from different disciplines need to get together to discuss how best to proceed.