Elderly as a Vulnerable Population and the Effect of Healthcare on this Population - Research Paper Example

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Elderly as a Vulnerable Population and the Effect of Healthcare on this Population Name University Elderly as a Vulnerable Population and the Effect of Healthcare on this Population Introduction The word “vulnerability” in nursing literature is used randomly but with insufficient clarity on its healthcare aspects…
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Elderly as a Vulnerable Population and the Effect of Healthcare on this Population
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Download file to see previous pages Being elderly is one of the leading causes of vulnerability for which the health department of the US government has taken steps to research the vulnerable points of the elderly people to control their health-related problems. It can help nurses in giving holistic and all-inclusive attention if they are aware of the causes of elderly vulnerability (Ruof, 2002). Elderly Population’s Demographics The healthcare issues faced by the elderly need to be seen in the context of demographic changes and their effect on health and wellness. The next 5 years are critical in changing the demographics of the elderly population getting older (HHSS Strategic Plan, 2007). American population aging tenure has increased. A large number of people are above the age of 65 or older. A child born in 2006 can live till the age of 78, an increase of 10 years since 1965 when the Older Americans Act was enforced for Medicaid and Medicare. The population growth of older people increased doubly from 12 million to 36 million from the total resident American population reaching 300 million from 150 million starting from 1950 till 2006. As per the estimates of the US Census Bureau, the older people’s population would increase as the first baby boomers turn 65 in 2011. By 2030, the elderly population would reach nearer to 20 percent of the US population. It creates serious repercussions and pressures on the healthcare system to meet the healthcare needs of the elderly, particularly related to chronic and severe health conditions and disabilities. The average American on the threshold of age 75 suffers from three chronic ailments and is prescribed five distinct medicines. There is huge dearth of such healthcare professionals attending to older Americans whose population would be increasing as anticipated to be 20 percent of the total American population (HHSS Strategic Plan, 2007). Stats indicate huge shortage of certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care workers whose requirement constitutes 874,000 to meet the demand in the coming 10 years while their supply would decrease to half by 2030 (HHSS Strategic Plan, 2007). Awareness Our behavior towards elderly could be biased. For example, when we hire a taxi to go somewhere and reach there in time, we may prefer young driver who, as is the stereotype assumption, take lesser time in driving to the location. In America, the population of aged licensed drivers is 30 million. If a driver’s age is less than 75, the possibility of accidents is less than if they cross the age of 75. It is because of their health issues such as dose intake or their reduced driving abilities, which could be risky. Sometimes, they are not aware of their reducing driving prowess and may argue otherwise. Some diseases such as dementia can cause cognitive blindness affecting the drivers’ acumen to identify their bad driving (Eldercare, 2010). Change in Outlook Research on the inabilities of the elder has changed the outlook on their issues. How an ordinary problem like heat can aggravate their worries is clear from the example of older peoples’ inability to cope with the heat outside. They are more prone to risk from heat-stroke. Old age becomes a hurdle in their ability to accustom to temperature change. They may have symptoms aggravated by heat and their medicines could give side-reaction to further aggravate their health condition (NIH News, July 18, 2011). Some of the factors ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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