VULNERABLE POPULATIONS 4
Theelderly people, especially those with 65 and above years are some ofthe most vulnerable groups and tend to contend with a myriad ofconditions. It is natural that with age, the elderly get exposed tovarious diseases that at times becomes a toll order to manage.Genetic changes and environmental issues are the major contributorsto some of the conditions affecting the elderly.
CommonHealth Risks and Problems Associated With the Aged
Mostpeople in the age of 65 and above suffer from conditions that attacktheir joints. Arthritis leaves joints with pain and stiffness,rendering such people virtually inactive. Also, their bones becomevery weak as a result of the wearing out of the cartilage.
Olderpeople are affected by various infections that attack theirrespiratory system (Neighbors & Tannehill-Jones, 2015). Asthmaand chronic bronchitis are common in this group of individuals, andthey lower the quality of life. Such diseases also increase the riskof pneumonia infection.
Agedpeople are usually affected by heart conditions which are occasionedby high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and diabetes. In mostcases, they feel exhausted and pass out as a result of heart disease,which in most cases results in death.
Depressionis a common condition that affects most of the elderly. They oftenexpress displeasure and lose interest in many things. In most of thetimes, the elderly become tearful since they appear lonely and feellike they are being avoided.
Asthe people get old, they become more perceptible to visual andhearing problems. Most of the elderly individuals have either ofthese impairments or both. In the U.S., it is estimated that one inevery six aged people with over 70 years, suffers from eyesightproblems. On the other hand, one in every four people in the same agehas a hearing condition.
Dueto the many health problems that the aged are exposed to, it is vitalfor their families to take proper are of them and ensure that thatthey are safe. They should understand that once an elderly personhas either of the aforementioned problems, it may be ostensiblychallenging to treat them in time.
Neighbors,M., & Tannehill-Jones, R. (2015). Humandiseases.Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
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In public health discussions, a person`s vulnerability has to do withsusceptibility to disease and financial situation to be able toafford treatment. In my view, there is a huge variation in differentgroups` to type II diabetes (T2D). Given that public health effortsseek to prevent disease and promote health, ant prioritizing strategyshould be geared towards these goals. According to Ferguson (2007),there are three main approaches to identifying a deserving group:economic, scientific, public health evidence and societal moralvalues. My view is that the young children, the severely disabled,and the elderly deserve to be prioritized according to public moralperspectives.
Economically, these people are mainly dependent on others and cannotafford the T2D treatment without government intervention. Childrenare uniquely vulnerable due to age, the risk of abuse, neglect, andexploitation. The elderly also face the same risks coupled withage-related complications such as memory loss. The severely disabledindividuals who are dependent on caregivers also deserve to beprioritized to ease their disease burden. While these three groups ofpeople deserve the treatment, I think it is the poor among them thatshould be given higher consideration. The elderly, children anddisabled individuals who are financially incapacitated deserve to begiven priority by the government. I feel that the wealthy people insociety have alternative private means to access payments and caneven afford a lifestyle that reduces the effects and symptoms of T2D.Thus, I believe that children, the elderly, and the disabled who arealso poor make up the deserving group. Nonetheless, it must be notedthat prioritizing does not dismiss other T2D cases, but only providesa plan to share limited resources. To some extent, identifyingdeserving populations and prioritizing them is comparable tobudgeting.
Ferguson, C. (2007).Barriers to serving the vulnerable: thoughts of a former publicofficial.
Health Affairs26(5): 1358-1365. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.26.5.1358
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