The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education

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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.


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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NursingBird. (2021, August 28). The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education. Retrieved from


NursingBird. (2021, August 28). The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education.

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"The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education." NursingBird, 28 Aug. 2021,


NursingBird. (2021) 'The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education'. 28 August.


NursingBird. 2021. "The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education." August 28, 2021.

1. NursingBird. "The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education." August 28, 2021.


NursingBird. "The Elderly as Targeted Population for Health Education." August 28, 2021.