A Trend in Rural Health Care

Montana is experiencing a unique trend. According to WorldPopulationReview.com it’s estimated that by 2030, Montana will be one of ten states in the country to have more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 18, and it will be one of only six states to have 25% of its population aged 65 and older. This trend particularly impacting Montana has unique implications on health care, especially in rural communities.

Shari Dolan the president of the Chester hospital has noticed this trend but explains that Chester is more fortunate than some other rural communities.

“Well, most importantly in a rural area our patients are getting older, but they’re healthier older so they’re living longer. So for Chester for instance, we’re actually pretty fortunate. So as people are starting to age there’s a private complex, it’s called Sweetgrass Lodge, so if somebody is looking to maybe move out of their home, they can move into the Sweetgrass Lodge. Then if there’s people that need a little bit more assistance after that, we own an assisted living building, and so people can move that direction. Then as they continue to need more assistance, we also have long term care beds for them to be able to live in. So that is a trend in health care, in the fact that people are healthier, and they are living longer.” -Shari Dolan

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