Who cares for older adults? Workforce implications of an aging society

Christine Tassone Kovner, Mathy Mezey, Charlene Harrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a critical shortage of geriatrics-prepared health care professionals. In 2002 more than thirty-five million people were age sixty-five and older, and 23 percent of them reported poor or fair health. Older adults use 23 percent of ambulatory care visits and 48 percent of hospital days, and they represent 83 percent of nursing facility residents. Yet 58 percent of baccalaureate nursing programs have no full-time faculty certified in geriatric nursing. Only three of the nation's 145 medical schools have geriatrics departments, and less than 10 percent of these require a geriatrics course. We argue that every health care worker must have some education in geriatrics and access to geriatrics care experts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-89
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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