The actuarial tables are clear: America is getting older. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, some 15 percent of citizens were above the age of sixty-five in 2014. That portion is expected to grow to 17 percent by 2020 and nearly a quarter of all Americans by 2060.
The graying of America is already beginning to put a burden on the nation’s healthcare system, and it’s up to institutions such as the UW-Madison School of Nursing to prepare healthcare workers for the challenges that an aging population presents.
The school’s Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE) develops and disseminates best practices for the care of older adults across multiple settings. Created in response to the rising need for elder-care specialists, CARE trains nurses in leadership, discovery, education, and practice to improve the health and well-being of older adults.
CARE supports innovative research and teaching strategies, and it develops relevant and accessible resources for practicing nurses. It collaboratively engages healthcare professionals, formal and informal care providers, and community organizations — all to foster a new understanding of aging and the role of geriatric nursing. CARE is also in the process of building an online tool, called eCARE, to guide caregivers of older adult through transitions.