Class: Health Promotion: Prevention of Disease
Healthy aging is an important part of every society. We can see that all communities work hard to make sure that their old people age well and are well taken care of at all times. For example, many communities have insurance programs for the elderly. But we can see that, despite all the big steps that have been taken to try to make sure that older people don’t get sick, they still do. There are many things that affect these groups of people in their daily lives, especially if they are poor.
Some of the most important social factors that affect the health of older people who live in poverty are income and social protection (Hill-Briggs, et,al. 2021). We can see that a lot of older people who live in marginalized communities and are poor are hurt by the fact that they have a low income and don’t have a social safety net to protect them from the bad effects of poverty. For example, when someone with a low income gets sick, they can’t get good medical care or checkups because they can’t afford it. This is bad for their health because some diseases, like cancer, need to be treated early in order for the treatment to work.
Housing, basic amenities, and the environment are also social factors that affect how people age in poor areas (Burstrom & Tao, 2020). Here, we can see that when people grow old in places with a lot of poverty, they don’t have good housing or the things they need. Then they are likely to get opportunistic infections, which are caused by being in dirty places and not having a good place to live.
Inclusion in society and not being treated unfairly are two other social factors that affect how people age. When people get older and live in groups that have been treated badly for a long time. If these services aren’t available where they live, there’s a good chance they won’t get the care and health services they need. For example, many black neighborhoods in the U.S. have been discriminated against, so they don’t have good housing, healthcare, or social amenities like parks, which are all important for the health of the elderly in the community.
Food insecurity is another social factor that makes it hard for older people to stay healthy (Burstrom & Tao, 2020). Here, we can see that not having enough food will always hurt the health of older people. This is because they are more likely to get sick, so not getting enough food will always make them sicker than people in other age groups.
Last but not least, we see that the lack of affordable health care and access to services of a good enough quality hurts the poor elderly a lot. Because they don’t have access to good health services, they get sick more quickly when they get sick. This, along with the fact that they don’t have enough qualified nurses and doctors, makes them more likely to get sick than older people who live in better neighborhoods.
Social factors that affect the health of the elderly
Money and health are often thought to be linked. Researchers have found a link between being poor and being sick, and they say that getting rid of poverty is a good way to reduce health disparities (Jeon et al., 2017). Studies also show that having a steady job makes people healthier and helps them live longer. This is probably because it gives people access to benefits like pensions, health insurance, and social security. On the other hand, there isn’t much known about how work affects health. People who live in poverty have a higher death rate, just like people with less education. People who live in poverty are less likely to die as they get older. This is especially true for people between the ages of 45 and 65. (Been et al., 2017). People with lower incomes have health problems and long-term illnesses more often than those with higher incomes. People who are older and have low incomes are also more likely to be disabled. Even though the rate of disability among older people with high incomes went down in the 1990s, the rate of disability among older people living in poverty has gone up, no matter their age, gender, level of education, or race (Jeon et al., 2017).
People over 65 who live in households with incomes of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level are more likely to have three or more chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, arthritis, heart problems or angina, and anxiety attacks (Been et al., 2017). Research shows that a person’s income level affects their health by interacting with their race and gender. For example, black people and older women are more likely to be poor than white people. People who are poorer than average are more likely to say their health is poor or fair (Jeon et al., 2017). Also, more black and Latino people who were poor said their health was poor or fair.
Poverty and overcrowding make the elderly more likely to have health problems like infectious diseases like Tuberculosis (Been et al., 2017). There are also a lot of places where people can’t get clean water, which makes it easy for diseases like cholera to spread. Rendah (2017) says that this group of people also can’t afford food and is therefore more likely to be malnourished, which makes them more likely to get sick.
Most old people who live in poverty haven’t gone to school much. People with more education live longer and are less likely to get sick or be disabled (Safavi et al., 2021). Between 1990 and 2000, death rates changed. They went up for older people with less education and down for older people with more education. There is evidence that a low income is a bigger cause of disability than a low level of education (Safavi et al., 2021). On the other hand, it has been shown that a low income is more likely to cause a disability than a low level of education. Studies show that people with low levels of education are less likely to have good habits like never smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, having a normal body mass index, and being physically active (Safavi et al., 2021). Also, older people with less education than a high school diploma are less likely to get preventive care. Researchers say that getting a higher education may make it easier to get healthy foods, get more exercise, and learn about healthy habits (Rendah, 2017). Education is the key to social and economic success because it makes it easier to get higher wages, Social Security benefits, health insurance, and live in a safe and healthy place (Been et al., 2017). Education and a good income are also linked to factors that lower the risk of disease and death, such as stronger social ties, a wider social network, better psychological traits, and doing things that are good for society.