January 24, 2010
Vulnerable Populations in Current Events
Smith, Tingle, and Twiss (2010) estimate in the year 2030, 20% of all Americans will be elderly adults. This is a vulnerable population that will have barriers including transportation, mobility, financial, and medical. As this vulnerable population continues to age, they often find it difficult to ask for help, which further increases the barriers they must overcome. Defining a Vulnerable Population
A vulnerable population is any group that has been identified by an epidemiologic or other study that classifies them at a higher risk than the general population from a specific or broad condition (Oxford Reference Online, 2011). Older adults are a vulnerable population because they face not only issues with their aging body, but also issues with their mental and spiritual wellbeing. These issues generate many barriers an older adult must face. Barriers of a Vulnerable Population
According to Smith, et. al (2010), it is important for community and local governments to
acknowledge the aging population and provide age-friendly services (p. 15). As society
continues to have economic difficulties and the population continues to age, there are a number
of barriers older adults face.
Many older adults are surviving on a fixed or limited income, which can often make it
difficult for them to afford their prescriptions, or be able to visit a doctor. This can put their
health in a vulnerable state. Another barrier older adults face is limited or impaired
mobility. Injuries from falls at home can have serious over-all health consequences to older
adults. Another barrier for older adults is transportation. Many older adults no longer have
the abilities to drive safely, or no longer have access to a vehicle. According to Smith, et. al
(2010), without proper transportation in place, communities will have a...