A push is on in Washington to meet the rising demand for doctors, nurses and other long term care professionals who treat senior patients. The Caring for an Aging America Act, which has been reintroduced by a bipartisan group of senators, would offer doctors, nurses, social workers and other health care professionals with specialized training in geriatrics and gerontology the chance to have their student loans discharged in exchange for agreeing to practice in underserved areas, both professional and geographical.

“We need to prepare our health care workforce now for a fast-growing population of older Americans to make sure that our mothers, fathers and grandparents get the quality care they deserve,” said California Senator Barbara Boxer, one of the senators leading the effort.

The bill would open up the National Health Service Corps to primary health care professionals with training in geriatric specialties and is supported by the Eldercare Workforce Alliance, which advocates for senior health care. It was first introduced in 2008 but failed to pass.

For more on senior health, see:

Death, disease rates linked to primary care

Majority of clinical drug trials exclude senior patients

Health care costs spur senior bankruptcies