Ageism in Healthcare

6728 Words Nov 6th, 2013 27 Pages
Age Related Healthcare Discrimination (Ageism) in Healthcare

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DHA-865

July 14, 2013

Age Related Healthcare Discrimination (Ageism) in Healthcare While the “Greatest Generation” is a title often given to those Americans who lived and died during the era of the Great Depression and World War II, their offspring, the “Baby Boom” generation, significantly shaped and improved the American landscape as well if for no greater reason than the sheer number of people who make up this population (Steinhorn, 2006). Today, based predominantly on that very same reason, the baby boomer population is now making a very different, yet equally as profound impact on American society. More
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Current Healthcare-Specific Data & Trends Yet of perhaps greatest importance to the American healthcare system and industry is the demographical information of this older population in terms of its particular characteristics and disposition. More specifically, healthcare professionals and policy analysts must understand the aging populations’ economic and living situations, and their overall health status (Jacobsen, Kent, Lee & Mather, 2011). Economic factors are key as they directly pertain to the likelihood of reliance on publically-funded healthcare programs, while “the marital status and living arrangements of the elderly are closely tied to levels of social support, economic well-being, and the availability of caregivers” (Jacobsen et al., 2011, p. 4). The importance of this population’s general health status is, of course, self-explanatory. First and foremost, despite slight recent increases in the amount of income obtained by members of the older population, their economic status is still quite perilous (Federal Interagency Forum, 2012).1 Men in this category have a median income of $27,707, while women continue to lag behind with a median income of $15,362 (AOA & AOCL, 2012). A vast majority of these individuals cite Social Security as their primary source for this income, amounting to 86-percent of the total older population (AOA & AOCL,

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