Disease Trends and the Delivery of Health Care Services

Topics: Obesity, Health care, Nutrition Pages: 6 (1813 words) Published: June 9, 2013
Final Project
Disease Trends and the Delivery of Health Care Services
Melinda Schimmel
Pukar Ratti

The aging population is also known as demographic aging and is described as the shift in age distribution. The current population trend in the United Sates is the working age group comprised of people ranging from ages 20-65 years old. Over the next forty years, the population is expected to be made up mostly of the retired age or people over the age of 65 and the rapid growth of the older population will elevate the number members to about 88.5 million people by the year 2050. Because of the increasing diversity of this country, the future older population is going to include a large number of racial and ethnical groups because of the increase in immigration.

As of 2010, the older population stands at approximately 40.2 million and by 2050 that number is projected to nearly double. The baby boomer population is largely responsible for the increase in the older population. This group of people who were born in the 1960’s will be crossing in to the older population category around 2030 and become a part of the retired population at that point. Another factor in the aging population is the decline of global fertility. While fertility has not been as issue in the past, it is expected to be one of the most growing trends in developing countries. This will affect the entire world eventually and contribute to the aging population everywhere. With this trend will bring many socio-economic related issues as well. Environmental Factors/Demographics

We can all relate to environmental factors contributing to our health and age. The increasing older population isn’t any different and is probably the most susceptible age group to be affected by those factors. Some of those factors include lifestyle habits such as what they eat, use of alcohol and tobacco, exercise or lack of physical activity and medications.

Eating healthy foods especially foods rich in vitamins and proteins is extremely important to keeping up their strength and immune system. Physical activity also keeps up strength and increases mobility. If the increasing older population can adhere to some of these simple lifestyle changes, their chance of living a more productive and extended lifespan increases. Along with implementing these habits, they can decrease their chances of illness and the use of medications. Sometimes constant use of medications can decrease your health because of the side effects they can have on other organs and parts of the body.

Other environmental factors of the aging population are their socio-economic status and demographics. Socio-economic status affects the aging population because of the financial burden it could put upon them. Lack of education decreases probabilities of higher paying jobs and less retirement benefits. Increasing cuts in social security and the death of a spouse can also put financial burdens on the older population. Because of the changing demographics, healthcare costs will continue to rise as well. Health Issues

In the coming years, health issues among the aging population are expected to increase. With more and more lack of affordable health care and decreasing benefits in Medicare, the older population cannot afford to take care of themselves medically. With growing prices in doctor visits, treatments and medications, their overall health will continue to decline. With that also comes the dependency factor.

This means that because of the lack of ability to sustain their own medical care, the older population will be depending on their children and other adults to help take care of them physically and medically. Nursing home and assisted living facilities may have an increase in population as well. Two diseases that are likely to increase with the aging population are heart disease and diabetes. Heart disease risk factors are higher in individuals that are over the age...

References: CDC. (2012). Adult Obesity Facts. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

Environmental Factors Responsible for Obesity. (N.D.). Retrieved from http://obesity.ygoy.com/environment-causes-obesity/

Geller, A. (2005). Aging and the Environment: A Research Framework. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1280412/
Mayo Clinic. (2012). Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=prevention
Mendelson, D.N. (2010). The effects of aging and population growth on health care costs. Retrieved from http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/12/1/119
Population Reference Bureau. (2007). Global Health and Population Aging. Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/pdf07/TodaysResearchAging4.pdf
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