I’m studying for my Health & Medical class and need an explanation.
Healthy aging is an important public health issue, both nationally and internationally. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes healthy aging as a process whereby all people of all ages are able to live a healthy, safe and socially inclusive lifestyle.
Discuss how social determinants of health for the older adult are impacted for those living in poverty.
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MSN 5550 Miami Regional University Health Promotion Prevention of Disease Discussion
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Healthy aging is a significant concern in public health, with the World Health Organization emphasizing the importance of enabling people of all ages to live healthy, safe, and socially inclusive lives. However, social determinants of health can greatly impact the well-being of older adults, particularly those living in poverty. This discussion will delve into how social determinants of health affect older adults in poverty.
Social determinants of health refer to the social and economic factors that influence an individual’s health status. These determinants encompass various aspects of one’s life, including education, employment, income, social support, and access to healthcare services. For older adults living in poverty, these social determinants play a crucial role in shaping their health outcomes.
Firstly, the educational level of older adults living in poverty can significantly impact their health. Limited access to education and lower educational attainment levels may result in a lack of health literacy, making it challenging for older adults to understand and navigate healthcare systems effectively. This can lead to delayed health-seeking behaviors, lower adherence to medical recommendations, and poorer overall health outcomes.
Secondly, employment and income are important social determinants that greatly influence the health of older adults in poverty. Limited job opportunities and low wages often characterize the lives of individuals in poverty, making it difficult for them to afford healthcare services and medications. Consequently, this population is more likely to delay or forgo necessary medical care, leading to untreated health conditions and an increased risk of complications.
Moreover, social support plays a critical role in healthy aging for older adults. However, those living in poverty often lack strong social networks due to limited resources and social isolation. Social isolation has been linked to adverse health outcomes, including increased risks of mental health disorders, chronic diseases, and mortality. The absence of robust social support exacerbates the challenges faced by older adults in poverty, making it more difficult for them to maintain good health and engage in health-promoting activities.
Lastly, access to healthcare services is a major concern for older adults living in poverty. Limited financial resources may prevent them from accessing necessary healthcare, including preventive services, screenings, and follow-up care. As a result, health conditions may go undetected or untreated until they reach advanced stages, leading to poorer health outcomes and higher healthcare costs in the long run.
In conclusion, social determinants of health significantly impact the well-being of older adults living in poverty. Educational limitations, limited employment opportunities and income, inadequate social support, and barriers to accessing healthcare services all contribute to the vulnerability of this population. To promote healthy aging among older adults and reduce health disparities, it is crucial to address these social determinants of health through targeted interventions, policies, and programs that aim to improve education, employment opportunities, social support systems, and healthcare accessibility for those living in poverty.