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.
- 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.
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.
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.