The Elderly as a Vulnerable Population Essay

Decent Essays
The Elderly as a Vulnerable Population
Lauren M. Lorio
April 9, 2012
Maria Mendez

The Elderly as a Vulnerable Population
Vulnerability is defined as susceptibility or increased risk for health problems (DeChesnay, 2008). A group of individuals are considered at higher risk for illness when their physical, emotional, psychological, or social health, is compromised (Aday, 2001). There are many leading causes for why a population is considered at higher risk; socioeconomic, age, gender, demographics, personal, and cultural backgrounds are some of the key factors (Aday, 2001; Sebation, 1996). Individuals can become vulnerable at any time because of change in life circumstances, placing them at higher risk. One group
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Statistically, the majority of older adults require continual health care for at least one chronic condition, half of this group for multiple chronic conditions, and more than half are managing multiple prescription medications. In older adult groups without chronic illness, there is still a high demand for health care access for “acute conditions as well as for extensive preventative care services recommended by evidence-based guidelines, such as medical screenings and vaccinations” (Thorpe et al., 2011, p. 2). Education from research is necessary to address the efficacy of health care delivery within the communities nationwide, and to mitigate the disparities within a flawed system. “As this vulnerable population is expected to double by the year 2030, efforts to identify and eliminate disparities in access for older adults are among the most pressing health care issues for the 21st century” (Thorpe et al., 2011, p. 2). Ultimately, through exploration of predictive risk factors in the older adult population, along with implementation of various approaches for intervention and policy, health care accessibility for this vulnerable population can be greatly improved.
Experience working in the field of health care lends insight to the growing needs of the older adult population, and the barriers which impede our capacity to meet them. As the Baby Boomer age is approaching older adulthood, the rise for financial,
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