DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado has the second fastest-growing population of older adults in the country. In two years, Coloradans aged 60 and older will outnumber those 18 and under, however the number of geriatric doctors is not keeping pace.
READ MORE: Scott Mathews Jr. On Trial For Deadly Shooting Of Jaharie Wheeler Over Fireworks Dispute
A new law is aimed at incentivizing physicians assistants and nurse practitioners who specialize in geriatrics to come to Colorado. Right now, there are just 89 geriatricians in the entire state for 1.3 million Coloradans aged 60 and older.READ MORE: Alejandro Hernandez Identified As 4th Teen Charged As Adult In Hinkley High School Shooting
The bill provides $400,000 in loan forgiveness next year for those medical providers who are willing to practice geriatrics in underserved communities.
“When you take your older loved one to the doctor and they receive care from someone who is specially trained to take care of older people. They get better care. Their life is enriched, they live longer, happier, healthier and more independently,” said Sen. Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge), who sponsored the legislation.MORE NEWS: Avs Rookie Goalie Justus Annunen Records First Career NHL Win In 7-5 Victory Over Flyers
Danielson’s district includes Jefferson County, which has the fastest growing population of seniors in the state. Colorado’s older population is expected to double in the next 10-15 years.