Chad Boult, M.D. discusses the future of geriatric healthcare, as well as the Guided Care program at Johns Hopkins University.
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Chad Boult: Our mission is to try to improve the lives of our parents and our grandparents and their families, through providing them a better health care, that leads to better quality of life. Well it's really -- I don't want to be too dramatic, but it's tragic. Most doctors, I believe care about their older patients and would like to take very good care of them. But for a number of reasons, they just are not able to do it very well. It's partly education. Doctors are not typically given much training in the care of older people, during their medical school or in their residency training. Although they see a lot of older people, they are not trained in the special challenges, such as the person with a memory problem or incontinence or chronic pain. Lisa Yogodo: I think there is a crisis in the geriatric care world and I think that it's also, it's looming and I think it's going to at some point reach a tipping point. Chasd Boult: And so the net effect of all this is that our system, which is really designed for younger people and for people who are basically healthy, it doesn't work very well, for older people who have chronic problems Lisa Yogodo: This really is a specialty onto itself. We need to look at how we meet the needs of the aging population differently then, we looked at it before. Certainly, and differently than we look at other segments of the population. Chad Boult: The first baby boomer start to retire in now, four years and the population of older people and especially older people with chronic conditions is going to sky rocket through the mid-teens. By the time we get to year 2025, there will be many many older people, many more than today in society and baring these chronic conditions. We are not prepared for it as a society or as a health care system and so I think the crisis although we are beginning to feel it is going to be much more severe in 10 years. Kathleen Trevor Grieves: Once there are enough of us. The nurses who have done this kind of work, to be able to tell other nurses what it's like and how fulfilling it is, I think that people are just going to be clavering to get into the field, I really do. As far as our relationship with the patient we serve a role of being an educator, being a mentor, being a friend, being a coach, being a motivator. Again, like I said before it's what nursing is about. I love what I do, because it feels like real nursing to me. I am doing all the things that I believe nursing is and it has nothing to do with giving bedside care and hospital.