Depression in the Elderly Essay

Topics: Health care, Health insurance, Medicare Pages: 9 (3713 words) Published: April 30, 2011
Running Head: Seniors, Health and the Healthcare Industry

Seniors, Health and the Healthcare Industry

Seniors, Health and the Healthcare Industry
As most of society is aware of healthcare is a hot topic and it is an issue that affects most everyone, from newborns to centenarians. I am going to show what issues affect most of our seniors in regards to mental challenges, cognitive degeneration, and physical health issues. In addition I am going to show how these changes jeopardize the independence and safety issues of seniors who live alone. I will show various ways of counteracting the different healthcare concerns that can restrict the effects of a disease or limit the symptoms of various illnesses. No matter how one feels about healthcare it is both a negative and a positive and essential to our physical and mental well-being. I will attempt to show how the health care industry is trying but failing in protecting not only seniors, but everyone in regards to proper coverage, preventive care and continuing care. Keywords;Medicare,coverage,disease,dementia

Seniors are a class of people of which some have debilitating mental, physical, and cognitive health issues and a government that is ill- prepared to rectify the situation. A senior citizen is defined as a person who is over the age of 50 but for the sake of this argument, I will encompass information pertaining to persons at least 60-65 years of age. According to an article by Jennifer Brock published by G.S.U. in their online magazine, the over 85 age group is the fastest growing sector of the population and by 2020 this population will have grown to roughly 115 million. With this many seniors or geriatrics as they are also known, one can only imagine the physical, mental, social, and cognitive issues many of these people will face. One of the major concerns for the geriatric generation is the lost of their freedom or independence. Imagine a person has been self reliant or independent for years and now suddenly or maybe gradually, they have lost that independence due to cognitive decline. Becoming unable to care for yourself is devastating enough, but coupled with a loss of memory of how to do simple tasks or how to do personal care is heartbreaking not only for the person experiencing it, but for the loved ones who has to helplessly watch as a once vibrant person who was possibly everything to them, become the infant who needs everything done for them. Contrary to popular belief, dementia is a not a specific disease but more of an umbrella term for a group of disorders that affects the brain. It can cause problems with simple tasks such as getting dressed, eating, personal care or they may have problems controlling their emotions. One of the most common causes of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. It is believed by some researchers that as many as half of all people over the age of 80 will develop Alzheimer’s disease ( progress from mild to severe in regards to the onset and inclusion of the disease. In the mild stage of Alzheimer’s, a person could experience delayed reactions or poor judgment making decisions. They can also experience problems handling money and or financial obligations. In more moderate stages of the disease, one can experience getting lost, disoriented, or confused about their surroundings or where they were going, having problems recognizing friends and family or they may even become hostile towards others. This is extremely unsafe for them as well as others who may be subjected to this hostility while trying to help or assist the person with personal care. In the extreme cases of Alzheimer’s the person cannot communicate using words, loses the ability to chew and swallow, and becomes incontinent. This is not only frightening for the person experiencing the confusion, but for their family as well. While the end result of Alzheimer’s is death, a diagnosis of the disease does not mean an instant death...
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