It is no secret that the elderly is the fastest growing age demographic.  North Carolina remains in the midst of a significant demographic change as the state’s 2.4 million baby boomers begin to enter the retirement age.  In 2013, one in five were 60 years of age and older in North Carolina.  In 2033, it is expected that one in four will be 60 years of age and older in North Carolina. Wake County, North Carolina is expected to have 156% growth rate in those that are 65 and older.[1]

As such, many professionals are positioning their practices to cater to this aging demographic.  A few helpful tips for serving an elderly population are included below for your consideration.

  • Presenting payment plans as many elderly patients are on a fixed income
  • Open communication with patient regarding overall health as a complete understanding of a patient’s overall health will contribute to better oral health as well.
  • No stairs leading to entrance of office
  • Adequate safe parking
  • Office furniture that is not too soft or low to the floor which has arms for patients to push up off of when standing
  • A consistent level flooring which is not slippery
  • No deep carpets or throw rugs which can increase the risk of falls
  • Large print and adequate lighting for signage
  • Minimizing background noise, standing closer to patient, removing mask and maintaining eye contact when talking with client that may be hard of hearing
  • Providing written instructions to reinforce verbal communications
  • Acquiring mobile equipment, if possible, to enable travel to local assisted living facilities

[1]http://www.ncdhhs.gov/aging/cprofile/2013Profile.pdf