Healthy aging is an important public health issue, both nationally and internationally. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes healthy aging as a process whereby all people of all ages are able to live a healthy, safe and socially inclusive lifestyle.
Discuss how social determinants of health for the older adult are impacted for those living in poverty.
Initial post with at least 500 words and 2 references. Please make sure to provide citations and references (in APA, 7th ed. format) for your work. No plagiarism, please.
Healthy aging is a critical public health issue for individuals and society as a whole. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines healthy aging as a process where all individuals, regardless of age, are able to live a safe, healthy, and socially inclusive lifestyle. However, healthy aging can be a significant challenge for older adults living in poverty due to social determinants of health, such as education, income, and access to healthcare.
Social determinants of health refer to the economic, social, and environmental factors that impact an individual’s health outcomes. These determinants are often shaped by social policies and practices that can create systemic barriers for older adults living in poverty. One of the primary social determinants of health for older adults is education. Lower levels of education are associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, all of which can contribute to unhealthy aging. Furthermore, inadequate access to education can impact an older adult’s ability to access health-related information and resources, making it challenging to manage their health effectively.
Income is another critical social determinant of health that impacts healthy aging for older adults living in poverty. Older adults living in poverty may experience inadequate nutrition, housing, and healthcare, all of which can contribute to poor health outcomes. Additionally, the high cost of healthcare and medication may prevent older adults living in poverty from accessing essential healthcare services and medications.
Access to healthcare is also a significant social determinant of health that can impact healthy aging for older adults living in poverty. Many older adults living in poverty do not have access to affordable healthcare, including preventative services such as immunizations, cancer screenings, and regular checkups. This lack of access to preventative services can lead to the development of chronic diseases, which can impact healthy aging. Additionally, older adults living in poverty may face barriers to healthcare access, including transportation, lack of insurance coverage, and language barriers, further impacting their health outcomes.
Social isolation is another social determinant of health that can impact healthy aging for older adults living in poverty. Social isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues that can impact an individual’s physical health. Furthermore, social isolation can lead to a lack of social support, which is critical in managing chronic diseases and promoting healthy aging.
In conclusion, healthy aging is a critical public health issue, and social determinants of health significantly impact the health outcomes of older adults living in poverty. Education, income, access to healthcare, and social isolation are all critical social determinants of health that can contribute to poor health outcomes for older adults living in poverty. Addressing these social determinants of health is critical in promoting healthy aging and ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their socioeconomic status, have access to the resources and support needed to age healthily.
- World Health Organization. (2015). World report on aging and health. Geneva: World Health Organization.
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.