Contemporary Problems Karen Proctor HSM/210 October 28, 2012 Lisa Perez Contemporary Problems The elderly today are living longer than ever. The National Institute on Aging and the U. S. Census Bureau, projects that, by the time the year 2050 rolls around almost 9 million people will be 90 years old. (Levy, 2012) A greater life expectency sounds good, but the elderly are facing many challenges, physical limitations, health problems, financial problems and the need for help with some day to day activites. (Levy,2012)
Elderly individuals usually have a number of chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and arteriosclerosis. Elders vary greatly in the degree in which chronic conditions affect their functional capacities. Limitations in functional activities increase with the aging process. Elders aged 65-75 years old are generally healthier than persons 75 and older. Persons 75 or older, often refered to as the “frail elderly” appear especially in need of health care services and represent the fastest growing segment of the population.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 85% percent of the elderly population aged 65 to 69 report no difficulty in self-care activities or walking, only 66% of elders aged 80 to 84years and 51% of elders aged 85 or older could report similar levels of well-being. (Guccione) This alerts us to the fact that caring for the elderly is and will continue to be a growing concern. The fact that the elderly usually have chronic illnesses that must be treated leads to the fact that a lot of our elderly population cannot afford the heatltcare costs associatted with their needs.
The elderly living alone have issues taking care of medical. food and housing needs. Without the help of children and family, many of our elderly suffer. They have problems attaining all the medical care they need. They may not have enough to eat. They try to balance household expenses and personal needs. The need for transportation, because some of our elderly cannot drive, or have serious problems with walking, mobility becomes a problem. Some of our elderly rely on medicare and social security to manage their medical and personal costs.
It is not enough. If the elderly had the foresight or the ability to save for their retirement, they are better off physically and emotionally, they call this elderly populationn retirees, but most of the elderly fall under the heading of pensioners, they do not have enough or any money saved, and they rely heavily on their social security and medicare to take care of their needs. (ActNow, 2010) Barriers to the elderly receiving care include cost, transportation, lack of information, doctors lack of responsiveness to concerns, or taking care of others.
The elderly have to consider the cost of their care, even with medicare, the out of pocket expense may still be too high for them to pay. Transportation is also an issue considering the elderly may no longer be able to drive. The elderly state that sometimes they do not go to the doctors because they feel it will be a waste of time, because the doctors do not take their concerns into account. Sometimes the elderly do not have the needed information to seek medical advice, for example they do not know the signs of stroke or heart disease.
The elderly often times put the care of others ahead of their own needs. They may be taking care of a sick spouse or their children or grandchildren. (A. L. Fitzpatrick. N. R. Powe, 2004) There are many different organizations to help the elderly. Some are private, some are religious, and some are government organizations. Many of the organizations focus on helping the elderly remain in their own homes. (Council, 2012) Cherokee County Senior Services is a nonprofit organization that provide a range of services to older adults in Cherokee County.
The center focuses on meeting the physical, social. emotional, and educational needs of the senior citizens and their families. They also focus on health and wellness. The center was established in ! 975. They provide caregiver assistance, they plan activities for the elderly to reduce the feeling of isolation and lonliness. They provide lunch daily and provide activities to provide social, mental, and physical stimulation. The homemaker services provide help to the elderly in the form of light housekeeping tasks. This service is for seniors age 60 or over, and there is no charge for the services.
Transportation services are provided for a donation of a dollar for round trip tickets to the senior center’s morning program, scheduled field trips, grocery shopping, and medical appointments. For those who are unable to come to center for lunch, a meal can be delivered to a person’s home, through Meals on Wheels. (Cherokee County Senior Services Cherokee County, GA USA, 2012) One issue facing the elderly is available caregivers. Most caregivers are women. While the number of older people are increasing, the number of available caregivers are decreasing. Clark, 1997) The most challenging problem in helping the elderly is finances. Money is needed to fund different programs to help the elderly. Volunteers are also needed to help with different programs. Different programs need volunteers to help deliver meals, to help with housekeeping and to help transport the elderly to different appointments. Some volunteers are needed just to spend time with the elderly. Costs are escalating and resources are dwindling. Maany governments no longer have the capacity to balance service needs with cost. The Next Generation of Human Services: Realizing the Vision, 2010) The elderly populationn is increasing every year. With age, chronic health issues increase. Caring for the elderly has become a national concern. With the increasing amount of elderly people and the decreasing amount of caregivers in each family, care for the elderly has fallen own different organizations. Organizations today are feeling the effects of escalating costs and dwindling resources. We need to step up and donate time and money, or we will become an inhumane nation due to the fact that we will not be able to deliver services to help the needy.
References (n. d. ). Retrieved from Issues of Disabled People- National Trust: www. thenationaltrust. co. in/ (2010). The Next Generation of Human Services: Realizing the Vision. Harvard University. Cherokee County Senior Services Cherokee County, GA USA. (2012, September 28). Retrieved from http:www. cherokeega. com/departments/department. cfm? displaySection=Community%20Outreach. txt… A. L. Fitzpatrick. N. R. Powe, L. C. (2004, October). Barriers to Health Care Access Among rthe Elderly and Who Percieves Them. Retrieved from American Public Health: www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448535/