Chiropractic Care for the Aging Population
In the United States, we are faced with a similar situation that is being seen in many other developing countries around the world like Japan and Germany. This situation refers to an overall aging population. According to the United States Census Bureau, the United States population at the age of 65 or older by 2050 will be roughly 84 million. This is a significant proportion of the entire population to be at the age where they qualify for Medicare. Additionally, this projects an immense burden on an already overburdened healthcare system.
When considering these numbers from the perspective of the chiropractic care community, these numbers can be quite alarming, but they can also bring about optimism from the future. Just under one fifth of the population that is aged over 65 is currently seeking chiropractic care. This is a substantial amount of people, and as time passes on and the population continues to age while also developing a new understanding of the potential benefits of chiropractic care, we can only expect this number to increase.
So with the knowledge that the United States population is aging and the number of people that seek chiropractic care is projected to increase, what can chiropractic care professionals do to meet the quality of care standards and promote good musculoskeletal health outcomes in the aging population?
It is important to recognize that the muscles and bones of elderly patients may be more fragile and less apt to successfully accept spinal manipulation. Chiropractors are aware of this fact, but they may need to alter their approach in terms of the actual adjustments. Rather than performing manual adjustments, an instrument adjustment may help achieve a greater level of accuracy. There are numerous instruments that can help chiropractors achieve optimal angular adjustment techniques and apply minimal force over large areas.
These are just some considerations that chiropractors need to have in an effort to prepare for the aging population. There will be many more adjustments that need to be made as the healthcare landscape changes and as the population ages but for now, chiropractors need to plan and fit their practices for what is to come. It's already known that chiropractors have the knowledge to work on any body - regardless of age or size - but the doctors themselves must make an effort to help new patients get comfortable.