The family physician of the future will be confronted with an increased volume of elderly patients. With life expectancy increasing steadily and with greater usage of birth control and abortion, all medical specialties will be faced with the problems of the elderly patient. In the year 1900, a woman’s life expectancy was 48 years and now it is 76.4 years. A man’s life expectancy in 1900 was 46 years and now is 68.5 years. In the year 1900, there were 3.1 million Americans over the age of 65. At present, there are 22 million Americans over the age of 65. In the year 2000, 30,600,000 individuals, or 11.7 percent of the 262,494,000 Americans who are projected to be alive at that time, will be 65 or older. The 30,600,000 senior citizens in the year 2000 are now currently alive and are among those who are 43 years of age or older at the time of this writing. One can only hope that the competencies of the family physician of the future will be equal to handling the special problems of the elderly population. One must also hope that society will be able to cope with the enormous problems of the elderly—social security, health care, housing, transportation, and education.
KeywordsNursing Home Family Physician Family Practice Rheumatic Heart Disease Pernicious Anemia
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