Increase in the ageing population has been accompanied many health care challenges and policy makers have been prompted to do their part and devise mechanisms of overcoming these challenges. Huge implications have been felt in the areas of organization and delivery of health care. Policy makers and other stakeholders in the health care system have faced increasing pressure to implement more cost effective and reliable care systems. One of the major shifts that have come with the increasing aged population is the need to commit more resources to manage chronic illnesses than acute illnesses. This is because, the elderly are more vulnerable to chronic illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes compared to the younger generation (Casey, 2003, 48).
The health care system has also faced increasing demand for competent health care workers, able to offer a wide range of care needed by the elderly. In this regard, stakeholders and policy makers are required to put in place measures to meet this demand. Given the fact that the cost of care for the elderly is significantly high, cost effective care systems are paramount. This is a wakeup call for policy makers to devise means of preventive this cost from escalating while at the same time ensuring quality care for the aged. In this paper, a case for change will be developed by reflecting on the policy challenges that have come with the ageing population. Among the policy issues to be discussed in the paper include long term care, preventive measures and training programs for health care workers, improving data collection strategies, and expanding coverage of government-funded programs.
Long term care
According to Tilly & Wiener (2002), aging ...
... middle of paper ...
...ery of quality services. It is the role of researchers in the health system to improve the collection and compatibility of data so as to be able to compare vital determinants of health care. Though there are serious challenges in the collection of accurate data due to such factors as differences in methodologies and age structure, this information remains vital. Gathering of data is especially paramount in light of the fact that long-term care takes place over a prolonged period of time thus requiring careful monitoring of the trends in health needs of the ageing population. Data collection initiatives should focus on aspects such as how the elderly are using the available services, the nature of support system and the changes that take place within the system, as well as the demographics of the elderly population (FECCA, 2007).
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