Center on Aging
Dr. Lotta Granholm, Center on Aging Director
The focus on aging in research and clinical care has become an urgent issue in the US, since the "baby boomer" generation has started to turn 65. From now on, it is calculated that 10,000 individuals will turn 65 every day for the next 20 years! Due to our increased life span, the population over 85 years of age will increase 5-fold in the same period. Contrary to this large number, fewer physicians are turning to Geriatrics as a specialty.
In fact, less than 0.5% of health professionals are trained in gerontology/geriatrics and few medical schools have revised their curriculum to include the study of the aging human body. Despite this, more than 40% of doctor visits, 50% of prescriptions, and 50% of hospital visits are made by and for elderly individuals. With the decreasing Medicare/Medicaid funding, it is quite plausible that the situation will amount to a health care crisis in the next two decades. Health care for seniors is the focus of our efforts at the MUSC Center on Aging.
Because of the dedicated work of Center on Aging affiliated staff and faculty, all medical and pharmacy students now receive specific training on geriatrics, and funding for age-related projects at MUSC has increased 10-fold the last 14 years. Center on Aging faculty have contributed significantly to the recruitment of faculty in all colleges at MUSC, adding to areas of exercise physiology, geriatrics, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, neuroimaging, and age-related movement disorders. The Center on Aging has faculty representatives from all colleges on its executive committee who are engaged in cross-campus conferences, collaborations, and grant applications.