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Paper Topic:

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 , 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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