The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education

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The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education

Words: 569

Subject: Geriatrics

Population Chosen for an Educational Program The population of elderly individuals (65-80); Rapidly increasing segment of the population (Stokes & Preston, 2013); Vulnerable to multiple health issues; Life expectancy is on a decline; Lack of socioeconomic/environmental support resources. Description of the Chosen Population The baby boomer generation is getting older; Increased mental and physical impairments; Limited access to financial/technological resources; Overlooked population in healthcare process planning; They cannot overcome challenges on their own. Demographics of the Chosen Population 46 million people (aged 65 – older) (Mather, 2016); Expected to double: 98 million in 2016 (Mather, 2016); Diversity: decreasing number of non-Hispanic whites; 23% men and 15% women work (Mather, 2016); Rural Midwest ages as youth moves. Problem Background The population is continuously growing rapidly; Health care needs to expand; Little is known about care quality; The elderly have numerous medical conditions; High risks of death rates are increasing. Problem’s Effect on Public Health Decreased quality and adherence to healthcare (Cutler, Fernandez-Llimos, Frommer, Benrimoj, & Garcia-Cardenas, 2018); Failure to prescribe recommended medicine; Preventive care suffers the most; Physicians lack information about the elderly; Patients are uneducated about care adherence. Cultural Background of the Population Most come from Baby Boomer Generation; Less come from the Silent Generation; Conservatives and individuals welcoming change; Television influence the generation’s cultural development; Developments in science, art, and music. Relevant History of the Population Lived through dramatic social change; Experienced the impact of the Cold War; Vietnam War had a significant impact; Anti-war, environmental, women’s, and other movements; The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Psychosocial Concerns and Norms Stress and anxiety decrease life quality; Poor relationships with family and friends; Lack of socialization with other people; Mental issues contribute to physical impairments (Ross, Jennings, & Williams, 2017); Difficulties with adapting to the environment. Economic Concerns of the Population Inability to work and earn money; Increased costs of health care; Increased ratios of dependency on others; Economic changes leading to instability; Lack of financial support from governments. Health Concerns of the Population Chronic health issues (e.g., heart disease); Physical injury (e.g., fractures due to falls); Malnutrition leading to weaker immunity; Substance abuse (e.g., alcohol, drugs); Depression and other mental health issues. Health Risk Factors Increased likelihood of physical health issues; Side effects from inappropriate medication; Isolation from the society: mental problems; Loss of relationships, independence, income; Chronic pains that decrease life quality. Prevention and Control of Health Risks Evidence-based practice guidelines for care; Regular evaluations of patients’ conditions; Exercise programs to prevent falls; The inclusion of free care services; They enhanced dietary programs to prevent malnutrition. Role of a Public Health Nurse Educating patients on appropriate care procedures; Monitoring patients’ progress in treatment adherence (O’Quin, Semalulu, & Orom, 2015); Helping patients’ families care for the elderly; Identifying gaps in health care access; Recommend community support programs to the elderly. Functions of Public Health Raise awareness of issues elderly experience; Provide economic and social support; Promote community engagement to support the elderly; Address psychological challenges of elderly; Provide resources for improved well-being. Local Agencies Delivering Services Meals on Wheels: elderly’s nutritional support; Adult daycare centers: safe places; Elderly Pharmaceutical Assistance Program: medication support; Free phones for the hearing impaired; Free legal help: assistance to elderly. Additional Resources Needed for Improvement Companion care services to encourage socialization; Affordable medication programs for low-income patients; Educational programs to promote independence; Government-funded nursing homes for patients; Visual and hearing aid programs. References Cutler, R. L., Fernandez-Llimos, F., Frommer, M., Benrimoj, C., & Garcia-Cardenas, V. (2018). Economic impact of medication non-adherence by disease groups: A systematic review. BMJ Open, 8(1), 1-13.

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Mather, M. (2016). Fact sheet: Aging in the United States. Web. O’Quin, K. E., Semalulu, T., & Orom, H. (2015). Elder and caregiver solutions to improve medication adherence. Health Education Research, 30(2), 323-335. Ross, L., Jennings, P., & Williams, B. (2017). Psychosocial support issues affecting older patients: A cross-sectional paramedic perspective. Inquiry: A Journal of Medical Care Organization, Provision and Financing, 54, 1-6. Stokes, A., & Preston, S. H. (2013). Population change among the elderly: International patterns. Population and Development Review, 38(1), 309-321.

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