According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2002),
vulnerability is the ability to “Be easily physically, emotionally, or mentally
hurt, influenced or attacked.” At any given time, anyone can become
vulnerable. Demographically, the nature of society is changing. The
population of older people is dramatically increasing. The U.S Census
Bureau states that the population of people greater than 65 is projected to
double by the year 2030 and at the same time increase from 12 to 20 percent
of the population. This same population is considered to be a vulnerable
group of people by society. Focus on the elderly is needed because the
demographic changes will pose challenges to meet their growing needs
physically, mentally and financially. Also, additional services will be needed
to address and treat chronic and disabling conditions. Education from
research will need to be implemented to alter negative perceptions of aging.
Medicare and social security is not able to support this projected growth and
untreated illnesses will cause the elderly to lose their independence and
prevent them from staying in their homes. The elderly are stereotyped as
requiring special care due to poor health, poor finances, and lack of social
support. Stereotyping of the elderly population leads to biased opinions
which in turn may cause disrespect, mistreatment, and abuse. According to
Kharicha and Lliffe (2007) “GPs may consider older people living alone to
be an ‘at-risk” group worthy of interventions, although there is some
evidence that those living alone are a robust group” (p.273). As the elderly
population increases, it is important to understand the impact to family,
health, and social institution. Biased opinions are formed from ignorance.
“Society does not understand much about aging today except what they see
and hear in the media and popular... [continues]
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(2010, 10). Elderly as a Vulnerable Population. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Elderly-As-a-Vulnerable-Population-457494.html
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