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Institute of Medicine Report: Retooling for an Aging America

In 2007, the Institute of Medicine convened the Committee on the Future Health Care Workforce for Older Americans to determine the health care needs of Americans over 65 years of age and to assess those needs through an analysis of the forces that shape the health care workforce, including education and training, models of care, and public and private programs.

The resulting report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, says that as the population of seniors grows to comprise approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and critically unprepared to meet their health needs. The committee concluded that for aging family members and friends to continue to live robustly and in the best possible health, bold initiatives are needed to:

  • explore ways to broaden the duties and responsibilities of workers at various levels of training;
  • better prepare informal caregivers to tend to the needs of aging family members and friends;
  • and develop new models of health care delivery and payment as old ways sponsored by federal programs such as Medicare prove to be ineffective and inefficient.

Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce
Committee on the Future Health Care Workforce for Older Americans, Institute of Medicine, April 14, 2008
News Release: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12089
Available online at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12089

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