THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Institute of Medicine
Board on Health Care Services
Committee on the Future Health Care Workforce for Older Americans
Friday, April 11, 2008 – 10:00 a.m.
430 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Retooling for an Aging America:
Building the Health Care Workforce
As the first of the nation's 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a health care work force that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, calls for bold initiatives starting immediately to train all health care providers in the basics of geriatric care and to prepare family members and other informal caregivers, who currently receive little or no training in how to tend to their aging loved ones. Additionally, according to the report’s recommendations, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health plans should pay higher rates to boost recruitment and retention of geriatric specialists and care aides and sets a target date of 2030 — the year by which all baby boomers will have turned 65 or older — for the necessary reforms to take place.