Health Care of the Older Adult
Aging, the normal process of time-related change, begins withbirth and continues throughout life. The older segment of the American population is growing more rapidly than the rest of the population: the U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the year 2030, there will be more people older than 65 years of age (22%) than people younger than 18 years of age (21%). As the older pop-ulation increases, the number of people who live to be very old will also increase. Health professionals will be challenged to de-sign strategies that address the higher prevalence of illness within this aging population. Many chronic conditions commonly found among older people can be managed, limited, and even pre-vented. Older people are more likely to maintain good health and functional independence if appropriate community-based sup-port services are available.