The Health Care-Based Vulnerability of Elderly Populations

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The Health Care-Based Vulnerability of Elderly Populations
Megan E. Stratton
HCS 531
June 11th, 2012
Dr. Arenz Russell

The Health Care-Based Vulnerability of Elderly Populations
Vulnerability, or the susceptibility to a form of harm, results from an interaction between the resources available to the elderly and communities and the life challenges they face. Vulnerability results from developmental problems, personal incapacities, disadvantaged social status, inadequate formal health care coverage, inadequacy of interpersonal networks and supports, degraded neighborhoods and environments, and the complex interactions of these factors over the life course (Mechanic, 2012). When researched several types of vulnerable populations were found. They are not limited to; families ineligible for welfare, race/ethnic minorities, prison inmates and current or former offenders, unattached adults who are ineligible for public cash aid, men and women with psychiatric and substance abuse disorders or developmental disability residents of rural areas, residents of inner-city communities, individuals with chronic illnesses, the disabled poor, the elderly, the near-elderly, foster children, and children with special health care needs (Pollack & Kronebusch, 2009). This paper will review and analyze the lack of care and insurance for the elderly population in Lansing, Michigan. Demographics

The demographics of Lansing are important concerning the most vulnerable parts of the populations. The population of Lansing, according to the 2010 Census is around 114,297 people. 9.7% of the population is elderly people 65 years and over (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). Therefore, a rough estimate would calculate that there are 11,087 elderly people in Lansing proper. 61.2% of the community is white and 23.7% is African American (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). The elderly population consists of 51.6% females whereas a lesser (49.4%) is composed of males (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). The education levels of the people within the elderly demographic and completely varied. High school was the highest form of education that was most widely achieved. A small portion of these people did attend and graduate from college and another small portion never made it through high school. Gauging an income level for senior citizens is hard because according to this generation, most of the people who are 65 and older have retired are living off social security, a life savings or a pension. The small sum that the elderly are allowed each month is generally insufficient compared to the cost of living. Population Vulnerability

This population is vulnerable because of current health insurance issues, increases in chronic illnesses as one ages, and the expense at which most elderly have to pay out-of-pocket because they are no longer working. The truth is by the age of 65, most people are retired or looking to retire. With retirement generally comes with a significant pay cut and loss of health insurance coverage. In addition to the loss of health insurance come the health issues of aging. It is no secret that as people age things tend to go wrong with our bodies. Another reason to make sure that an elderly person is always covered by some sort of health insurance. If someone were to retire or lose their job before they were 65, they would not qualify for health care program like Medicare, thus paying out of pocket for any medical needs during this period of time. Medicare provides national social insurance program that is administered by the U.S. federal government. It guarantees access to health insurance for Americans ages 65 and older and younger people with disabilities as well as people with end stage renal disease (Archer & Marmor, 2012). Also the premiums for HMO’s, which generally will cover anything that Medicare will not, are also increasing while to amount of coverage offered is decreasing.

Challenges
77 million Baby Boomers...
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