March 20, 2014
Professor Erika Johnson
It is economically correct to state that any baby that is born the life cycle will eventually age the individual. In today’s era the life expectancy for individual is a lot longer due to the advancements in technology, increased knowledge in medicine and treatments available, and the ever growing resources that are available to caregivers. The healthcare industry today has had several changes such as the concern for resources, the possible challenges that are on the rise for the growing elderly population.
Between 1900 and 2000, life expectancy in the U.S increased from 51 to 80 years for women and from ...view middle of the document...
In the event that the elderly health care consumers do not have family to provide emotional, physical, or financial support they will require additional assistance which can be quite costly. Without the necessary resources to manage chronic disease there is little chance of achieving a health quality of life. Managing chronic illness is one of the biggest challenges for the elderly population. Medication used to manage chronic illnesses can be very expensive and many of them are not covered by Medicare posing a debated issue that continues to receive publicity. Bottom line is that the elderly have decreased incomes and are being forced to either pay for multiple medications or deal with a less productive quality of life. Caregivers are often not able to assist with the growing cost of medications because they are likely already losing time at work to care for their family member. The annual cost for a patient with diabetes to receive medication is $1379, heart disease is $1187, and hypertension is $1029 (National Academy on an Aging Society, 2002). Financial burden is only one of the challenges related to the ever growing elderly population. There is also the need to ensure a focus on quality of life. Health care providers (professional and related) can help to ensure a more productive end of life experience to be had by all.
The focus has always been to treat the disease and while this makes perfect sense it is not enough anymore. There needs to be a strong focus on quality of life for the elderly to encourage a productive management of chronic illness and other end of life health issues that may occur. The term nursing home often causes a sense of fear and isolation when considered for a means of monitoring care and ensuring assistance for the elderly. To avoid having to use nursing homes so regularly society’s care givers both professional and otherwise should focus on a patient’s abilities to care for themselves. Should they be able to properly take care of themselves there needs to be a delivery of knowledge to encourage independence. Providing the elderly population with outreach programs and activities that meet their abilities can make the difference between an independent older adult and a nursing home candidate. It seems that some of the individual focus and family coaching in behavioral, financial, and physical activities and choices has been lacking in the health care delivery system because the focus has been to treat with a decreased effort to educate and provide alternate resources as well.
Chronic disease wellness programs are one way for society, patients, and the community to actively address the challenges related to the increasing elderly population. Through the use of these programs the elderly are encouraged to keep active, they are instructed on ways to prevent falls that might lead to difficulty remaining independent, there are nutritional and diet...