As the aging population continues to grow, the demand for health services and healthcare workers increases. The aging adults suffer at least one chronic disease, and managing these chronic illnesses results in a higher healthcare cost. Many older adults face barriers while obtaining care, and those potential barriers are long waiting times, transportation difficulty, lack of access to treatment, and lack of knowledge about the management of chronic illnesses. The inability to carry out tasks related to treatment recommendations put the elderly at greater risk of unnecessary harm. The need for home-based health care professionals increases as the elderly require home care services that provide extra assistance as needed and improve overall health by giving care in the comfort of home. Moreover, the aging nurses’ retirements result in a shortage of health care workers. New graduate nurses who are trained to replace the aging nurses face difficulties and feel overwhelmed as they still don’t have much experience and are forced to limit the level of care due to the nursing shortage and exposed to the challenging aspects of nurses’ workplace, for example, a poor salary, long work hours and excessive workloads (Park, 2017).
“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1.2 million nurses’ vacancies between 2014 and 2022, with nearly 700,000 nurses leave the workforce by 2024” (“The Aging,” 2019). The shortage of nursing staff will be dramatically increased in the future. Retaining aging nurses due to increased patient volumes and the unsafe patient-nurse ratio will become a long-term goal for health care employers (Middaugh, 2016). Furthermore, many studies indicate that the older adult population will increase over the years and will have a huge impact on the health care system. Older adults with chronic conditions will seek care and the total cost of health services will skyrocket as hospital visits and admissions of elderly patients with chronic conditions will be doubled by 2023 (“The Aging,” 2019). Also, “according to the U.S Census Bureau and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, total health expenses are expected to reach $4 billion by 2020 and $5 billion by 2025” (“The Aging,” 2019). Expanding the aging population equals greater patient census, and will continue to increase the national health expenditures and the demand for health care services.