October 28, 2012
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...