The Rising Tide of America’s Aging Population and the Call for Caregiving Solutions
A recent report from The Washington Post has unveiled a significant demographic shift taking place in the United States. As of February 2023, more than one in six Americans have crossed the threshold of 65 years or older. This demographic transformation mirrors the continuous aging of our population, and its consequences are both far-reaching and profound. According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 2020 Census data revealed a striking statistic emerging: approximately 17% of the U.S. population, or more than one in six individuals, were already in the 65 and older category in 2020, the highest rate in over a century. The HHS report also sheds light on the present state of our aging population but also contains data that projects a substantial surge in the number of seniors in the years to come. By the year 2040, it is anticipated that the population of residents aged 65 and older will reach a staggering 80.8 million, more than double the count recorded in 2000. Furthermore, the report foresees a similar doubling of even more senior citizens, with the population of those aged 85 and older expected to grow from 6.7 million in 2020 to 14.4 million by 2040. Remarkably, in 2020, there were nearly 105,000 residents who had achieved the remarkable milestone of 100 years and older.
With our nation’s population continuing to age, there is a growing demand for caregiving and support services. This demographic shift presents a unique and pressing opportunity for those committed to the field of caregiving, whose life’s work plays an essential role in providing crucial care and assistance to our aging citizens.
Dr. Mohsin Jaffer Shares Secrets to Optimal Aging and Vitality
Dr. Mohsin Jaffer, a highly respected family physician with a specialization in geriatric care, takes a prominent role in tackling these challenges. As the President and CEO of Senior Medical Associates, a key player in senior healthcare in Florida, Dr. Jaffer has recently offered his profound insights on lifelong wellness and the aging process in an interview with our VP of Clinical Excellence, Linda Robinson, MSN, RN, CPXP, on our podcast, PX Space.
With nearly three decades of experience in geriatric care in South Florida, Dr. Jaffer generously imparts profound insights into achieving optimal health and longevity, radiating vitality and vigor.
“We’re all aging, and the process of aging is inevitable and relentless. But we can slow it down, and we can age gracefully.” Dr. Jaffer firmly believes that patients have a choice in how they live out their twilight years. “And as long as you’ve got life, we don’t know how long, but we have the potential of 120 years, you want to be living that life with vim, vigor, and vitality. This has been my mantra to all our patients: you are the boss of your destiny. We, as physicians, are your helpers, your guides, but you are the boss, you are like the captain of a ship, and you need a navigator.”
Dr. Jaffer emphasizes the critical importance of making seniors more mobile, self-sufficient, and socially engaged, highlighting the devastating impact of loneliness on their health and on the overall health of Americans.
“The greatest tragedy in our country today is loneliness, across the spectrum, from young to the old,” he said. “It’s loneliness.”
He points out that social media and technology have been detrimental to the human-to-human connection.
“We don’t meet each other enough. We don’t talk to each other enough. Even the average American married couple spends only 5 minutes a day together in meaningful conversation, and what a tragedy.”
Embracing Good Health and Happiness
Dr. Jaffer’s mission is clear: to empower every person, regardless of age, to live and age better. He is a strong proponent of mind over matter and has outlined his famous “Pearls of Longevity with Good Health and Happiness,” which are highlighted below.
- Find Joy in Laughter: “A hearty laugh can make you feel better, and it’s an essential part of well-being.”
- Maintain Positivity and Purpose: “Having a sense of purpose and a zest for life is key to staying young and embracing all the beauty life offers, especially as we age.”
- Cherish Time with Loved Ones: “Surrounding yourself with friends and family reminds you that social connections hold value at any age.”
- Embrace Stress Reduction and Meditation Techniques: “Incorporate relaxation techniques and effective stress management through relaxation exercises, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and tai chi for overall health.”
- Manage Your Weight
- Prioritize Daily Exercise: “Consider a daily two-mile walk or equivalent exercise to care for your heart health, blood pressure, and diabetes. Exercise contributes to these vital aspects of well-being.”
- Follow a Nutrient-Rich Diet: “The Mediterranean diet is known to protect against Alzheimer’s, while the Western diet, rich in red meat and processed, sugary, and fatty foods, increases the risk. Opt for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and olive oil.”
- Avoid Smoking and Limit Stimulants and Alcohol: “Lifestyle choices significantly impact healthy aging. Be mindful of alcohol and medications that may harm the brain. Additionally, safeguarding the brain from exposure to toxins is important for overall cognitive health. Consult your doctor to ensure your medications support your brain health.”
- Cultivate Faith, Spirituality, and Gratitude
- Prioritize a Good Night’s Sleep Adequate and high-quality sleep is crucial for brain health
MDM Patient Education & Engagement Solutions
MDM Healthcare is dedicated to supporting seniors through innovative and user-friendly technology solutions suitable for patients of all ages and varying tech proficiencies. Emphasizing key aspects of patient engagement technology that align with hospitals’ equitable care strategies is crucial. These essentials provide numerous advantages. For instance, a hospital stay is not the ideal time to acquire new skills. If a patient can operate a TV remote, they should find it just as simple to navigate a patient engagement system.
It’s important to note that not all patient engagement solutions offer the same ease of use. The more human and patient-friendly the technology, the more likely it is to be embraced by patients. Journey PX, our cloud-based patient engagement system, distinguishes itself with its intuitive design. This technology is founded on the understanding that an intuitive user experience is indispensable when conveying critical health information to patients. Integration with the hospital’s electronic medical records (EMR) ensures that patient engagement systems can display real-time, accurate information. Journey PX’s digital whiteboard, My Day, Today, presents vital health information to patients in a language they can easily comprehend, right on the screen inside their hospital room. This method of delivering information empowers patients to grasp their daily care plan, thereby reducing communication gaps and minimizing confusion and frustration. Effective clinical communication practices have been proven to enhance clinical outcomes.
Additionally, Journey PX enables medical teams to streamline clinical workflows by automating and simplifying the patient education process, offering video connections in patient rooms, and managing non-clinical tasks. This ensures that patients receive the necessary information while freeing up valuable time for hospital nurses and healthcare team members.
To hear more from Dr. Jaffer including his insights for Alzheimer’s disease patients and their caregivers, listen to the full episode of PX Space
About Dr. Moshin Jaffer:
Dr. Mohsin Jaffer founded Stallion Medical Management and has held prestigious roles as a clinical assistant professor at renowned institutions such as the University of Miami, Nova Southeastern University, and Florida International University. His journey also encompasses leadership as the chair of the North Shore Physician Hospital Organization, board of trustees secretary, contributions to the establishment of the Neighborhood Health Plan, and multiple terms as chief of family medicine at Memorial Hospital West.
Today, Dr. Jaffer serves as the President and CEO of Senior Medical Associates, an esteemed leader in senior healthcare co-founded by Dr. Mohsin Jaffer and Mrs. Fauzia Jaffer. With 12 locations across Broward County, FL, Senior Medical Associates warmly welcomes individuals aged 65 and older, offering access to a dedicated team of experienced doctors, nurse practitioners, and medical assistants providing complimentary consultations. Beyond his illustrious medical career, Dr. Jaffer is a co-founder of the Mohsin and Fauzia Jaffer Foundation, a steadfast supporter of projects aimed at enhancing access to education, healthcare, clean water, and career development over the past 25 years. His unwavering commitment to these causes underscores his dedication to creating a positive impact within his community and beyond.