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HCA 240 Final Paper - The current age composition of the...

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The current age composition of the United States today is astounding. The aging population is swelling in numbers. Today, the population age 65 and older exceeds 35 million. (Transgenerational 2009). There are 77 million baby boomers that are about to reach retirement age. By the year 2035 there is expected to be 1 in 5 Americans to be 65 or older. Factors that contribute to this ever growing issue are that there is better healthcare in the country today than there was 60 to 70 years ago. The mortality rate has declined over the past 30 years due to breakthroughs in medicine. Declining fertility among the younger generations does not help with the numbers of aging Americans. Through the years, the life expectancy numbers have steadily risen. For example, in the 1930’s, a person could expect to live 47.5 years of age. In 10 to 20 years, no one really knows what the average lifespan is going to be. The past numbers indicate that it will steadily be on the rise. As a person ages, there are different things that take place in the body. A person at a young that is diagnosed with cancer, for example, would have a better chance of fighting the disease a little longer than that of an older person. Research shows that as we age, stem cells, that would often times be used to help treat the cancer, start to shut down. (Wade2006). A person has a better chance on fighting the disease today than they did twenty years ago when the medical community was not as knowledgeable on the matter as they are now. Respiratory disease is on the rise for many of the aging Baby Boomers. Many of whom worked in factories are now being diagnosed with cancer or a respiratory disease from doing such work and being exposed to toxic materials. Smokers have a lot of complications with their respiratory system. It was not until the 1970’s that smoking was really looked at as a health concern. Since that time there have been new ways to try to get a person to quit.
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The decline in health for many of the aging is a concern that we as a country need to take notice of. Sure there is Medicare and other types of insurance to provide healthcare to our older population, but many of them can not afford to keep it. The government needs to have a program, besides that of Medicare that is geared towards helping them take better care of themselves. Free clinics should be in every county in every state for the under and noninsured to go to and receive care. In my opinion, doctors make enough money that they can help in cases like these and it would be nice if it was a mandatory thing for them to do pro-bono work. A
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