Accredited Education

University Program Pairs Students with Elderly

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities for nursing degree holders will increase by 22 percent over the next eight years. This is due in part to a rapidly aging elderly population.
In Minnesota, many baby boomers are about to reach the age of 65, reports the Star Tribune. In addition, about 10,000 individuals will become eligible for Medicare over the next 18 years.
"We’re not ready for them," said Dr. Robert Kane, a physician who heads the University of Minnesota’s Center on Aging. "Doctors, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, dentists, pharmacists – you name a geriatric specialty, and we’re short."
To assist the growing needs of an expanding elderly population, the university began an experimental nursing program, which pairs medical students with older individuals.
Medical students, such as Hanaa al-Khansa, who is now in her fourth year, spend their evenings, weekends and holidays with the elderly. She recently delivered holiday treats to individuals who are in their 80s, 90s and 100s. According to the news source, these interactions are a way to acquire subtle lessons of aging that will help her become a better physician.

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