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.
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: Dick Lamm, Who Served Three Terms As Governor In Colorado, Dies At Age 85
The bill provides $400,000 in loan forgiveness next year for those medical providers who are willing to practice geriatrics in underserved communities.READ MORE: Teacher At Dawson School, Da'Jon Tyrik James, Arrested In Student Sexual Assault Investigation
“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: Colorado Weather: Monsoon Moisture Set To Bring Heavy Rain For Many This Weekend
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.