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Our aging population, those who are 65 years and older is expected to double in 20 years which makes the health of adults a priority in the US. With new technology always being created in medicine, there are plenty of ways to help with the challenges of the aging community. This paper shows how The State of Aging and Health in America 2013 report produced by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention highlights these opportunities and studies important health problems that are affecting older adults. It shows how the United States is endorsing prevention, decreasing behaviors that contribute to premature death and disability, and enhancing the health and welfare of the aging population.
The State of Aging and Health in America 2013 emphases many areas of concern that may significantly help the quality of life for the older population, that is, if they are successfully addressed by key groups at the national, state, and local levels. As we know, the global population has been steadily growing, one of the inevitable consequences being the increased number of the aging population. This is particularly true of the US population, as according to the Administration of Aging, it is expected that people aged 65 and older will comprise nearly 22 percent of the population by 2040.
From the first sight, that might not be the most impressive number, however, as compared to 14.5% in 2014, we may observe the striking increase. Naturally, such a shift has various implications and consequences for various spheres. One of the fields affected most by such a trend is the health care industry. Strictly speaking, nursing is the subfield particularly marked by the shift.
Many call-to-actions are shown in this paper that plan to help society to take certain phases to help improve the health of the aging community. For example, addressing the fact that mental health takes a toll on the aging population. The report shows our nation’s growth in encouraging prevention and educating on the health and welfare of the aging adults, and reducing behaviors that contribute to premature death and disability. The report also highlights on aging population and mobility, which is discussing the movement in all of its forms, and also how optimal mobility is central to better aging.
One call to action is that we must address the mental distress in older adults. Some parts of mental health improve with age. Many of the aging population experience mental distress. It may be from physical problems, grief to due to a death, limiting one’s self when it comes to daily activities, difficult living situations, or mental illness that has not be treated, such as depression or drug abuse as well. It has been shown that around 25 percent of the aging adults that are older than 65 years have mental illness’ whether it be bipolar disorder or depression. A study showed that about 12 percent of the people older than 65 years stated that they really never got the emotional support they so badly wanted or needed.
As reported in the article “mental distress is an issue by itself, and it has been associated with unhealthy actions than can affect self-management and prevent recovery from an illness. For example, older adults with frequent mental distress are less likely than those without frequent mental distress to be nonsmokers, to eat at least five fruits or vegetables daily, and to participate in moderate-to vigorous physical activity during the average week”. We should be able to offer the aging population help when it comes to mental illness, many feel as if they can’t afford to get help due to costs and we should make a plan that they can get free help. Mental distress should be monitored as well. There are programs that are available for the community such as IMPACT and PEARLS.
PEARLS or Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives is a national evidence-based program for late-life depression. It helps to bring mental health care into community-based settings that reach vulnerable older adults. The adult takes about 6 sessions which is designed to help the person on behavioral techniques, it is also designed to make lasting changes in the persons life. It emphasizes on teaching the older adult the skills that are needed to move to action and to improve the quality of life and help to decrease depression. It was shown that the people that participated in the PEARLS program were 3 times more likely than those getting usual care to show a significant decrease in their symptoms (43% vs. 15%) or complete elimination of their depression (36% vs. 12%).
Another program is IMPACT, are for those that are 18 years and older and for those that suffer from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The results of IMPACT showed a decrease of about 50 percent in the symptoms of depressed adults, it also showed a better quality of life in the people that joined the program. The goal is designed to remove the devastating effects of the persons mental illness by having personalized plans. It also helps the person to meet the basic everyday needs and to help improve the patients well being and quality of life.
Another major concern when it comes to the aging population is mobility. There are many issues in the assessment of mobility when it comes to the older adults and mobility is definitely important to the health and welfare of adults. We must support healthy aging. The older adult population will soon swell to unparalleled levels, intensely impacting all aspects of our society, mainly health care and community development. To ensure people are up-to-date, alert, and educated, the report also shows the nation’s development toward educating the older adults on health and presents calls-to-action for people across the nation. Community leaders and local officials can assess and compare the health and well-being of older adults in their communities and determine any gaps that may exist.
I believe we should offer programs that help older adults maintain or improve their ability to walk safely and independently. I believe we should also have a plan to have shorter shifts for the aging population, many older adults that I have spoken with at my job had said that shorter shifts will help them with their health. They wouldn’t be on their feet all day, they wouldn’t have bad back problems, their knees wouldn’t be hurting them as much. We also should have chairs that support our back. Also, more sidewalks should be built so that people are able to walk or bike in neighborhoods safely.
Seeing as how many it is expected that people aged 65 and older will comprise nearly 22 percent of the population by 2040, it is important that we now get prepared and educate the older adults so that they maintain healthy lifestyles and have an improved quality of life.
- Aarp. (n.d.). The State of Aging and Health in America 2013. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/act/health-wellness/info-2013/the-state-of-aging-and-health-in-america-2013.html
- The State of Aging and Health in America 2013. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/aging/pdf/state-aging-health-in-america-2013.pdf
- PEARLS program. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://depts.washington.edu/hprc/evidence-based-programs/pearls-program/
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