Population and demographic shifts…technology improvements…financial restrictions…all are areas effected by our changing marketplace. I will highlight various trends taking shape in my next two blog entries.

– The healthcare industry continues to grow. Some projections forecast greater than 25% growth for next 5 – 7 years, which means various services will expand. It also places a burden on Medicare to cut back, tighten restrictions, and push for efficient care deliveries.

– Technology usage will expand. Data analysis will help patients understand their care options. It will also help provide more efficient care monitoring and staff coverage.

– Registered nurses will remain in demand in the work force. Not only in large population centers, but also regional hubs where communities are partnering to create efficient and timely services and delivery systems.

– The labor force is changing, and the duties are shifting. Nurses may choose an early retirement lifestyle. But the rise of nurse practitioners to assist overburdened physicians will continue. Nurses will be needed to help support duties that were previously handled by physicians.

– The senior population, ages 75 or older, is becoming more and more comfortable with the internet and information access. Many more seniors are comfortable utilizing computers, cell phone, tablets, etc. Also, the delivery infrastructure (browsers, speed, data delivery) continues to improve and simplify.

Elders aging in place is a necessity. There will never be enough assisted living or nursing home facilities to absorb our ever growing senior population. Further, the services once provided by assisted living have become outdated…because the elderly residents have become much more needy as they have grown old and frail.

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com