About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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The elderly: 38,000 and counting

Data from Mary Washington Healthcare confirm the growing importance of the region’s elderly.  The region has more than 38,000 people who are 65 and older, or about 10 percent of the total population.

For the period 2008 through 2013, the elderly will grow at a 6-percent annual clip, the fastest of any age group, according to the hospital data. During this period, the population as a whole is expected to grow 3 percent annually.

The hospital data include its catchment area: Fredericksburg and the surrounding four counties, as well as all of Westmoreland County and portions of Prince William and Orange counties.

Mary Washington used these numbers in deciding to join with Dantra Healthcare and start a physician practice that specializes in geriatrics. The practice will have four providers and be located in Massaponax. It’s expected to open this summer.

(A story from last week’s paper about the new practice can be found here. Thanks to Kathleen Allenbaugh at Mary Washington for the population data. It can be seen here.)