the vulnerable population of the elderly and why they are vulnerable

The elderly is one of the subgroups of the population which require special care and specific needs . So much in fact , that there is a specialty field in medicine dedicated to the medical care of this group :geriatrics . The demand for healthcare by this group is steadily climbing , fueled by an increasing number of aging baby boomers . The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2007 ) reports :a serious shortage of nurses is expected in the future as demographic pressures influence both supply and demand . The future demand for nurses is expected to increase dramatically as the baby boomers reach their 60s and beyond . This rise may give rise to a health crisis indeed . And the healthcare shortage , which is being fueled by the demands of the aging populace ,may prove to be a catastrophic one if dire measures are not instituted .With this in mind , there is a need to be aware of the medical and psychosocial problems of aging , be it by medical personnel or laypersons and relatives of the elderly . Aging and the elderly is still much considered a taboo in society . Day et al states :American society in general glorifies youth and fears or even despises old age . This is not the case in many other societies where age is associated with wisdom , knowledge and special status .We laugh at their misdeeds and forgive their mistakes knowing in the back of our minds that they are old and can ‘t help themselves . We view them not as capable as younger people . It is rarely that we see older people depicted as decisive , strong or as leaders . We see this same attitude with large corporations and government employers .As Americans age we fear the deterioration of our bodies and the possible lack of security due to low income — a byproduct of old-age .Why make it a taboo ? More often than not , it is a fear of the inevitable , that they themselves may be in the elderly ‘s position that makes them avoid the topic , even when it comes to loved ones . This may prove dangerous . The elderly are prone to many diseases and risks of day to day living . The reason is mainly biological . The elderly are more prone than their younger counterparts in society to have medical problems (Dalus , 2004 .This contributes to a senior citizen ‘s self-perception that he or she is a weight on her caregivers and relatives , useless , and a drain on resources . This then feeds complacency , a lack of self help described by Day et al :Many elderly buy into the notion that they themselves are no longer useful and as a result make little attempt to keep themselves healthy and active . After all , they are getting closer to the end of their lives and have no desire to try new things or to challenge themselves or to eat or exercise properly . For the purpose of illustrating the changes in the elderly , two common diseases in this population segment have been chosen…

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