Global Health of the Older Adult

The current demand for the healthcare is to ensure that all the actions are driven by the need of the population to guarantee the better work of the sector in meeting its growing demands. According to statistics by the National Institute of Health, the older population has been on the increase due to the improved level of life expectancy. As a result, the ageing population (65 years old and above) has expanded rapidly to approximately 8.5% of the world’s population accounting for close to 617 million people (National Institute of Health, 2016). This is a new reality with new issues that healthcare has to handle globally. Moreover, people who are 65 years old and above are known to have long-term illnesses such as immobility, arthritis, cognitive impairment, heart problems etc. Any healthcare sector around the world may be termed as inclusive and envisaged by various policies such as, for example, Health People 2020. This is for the fact that all the members connected with the society’s welfare needed to be highly integrated into the systems of the healthcare. The older adults’ numbers are on the rise globally and realigning the healthcare sectors to facilitate this change will be helpful in ensuring that the senior citizens’ health interest is well catered for as in the inclusive healthcare sectors around the world.

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Historical Perspectives on Global Health of the Older Adult Learning in Nursing

The care of the venerable people has always been an integral part of nursing, where the call for the nurses included helping these people to attain a better health status. Watson theory’s call ensured that the medical workers help their patients in an ethical manner in time of need (Karnick, 2014). This was an assertion affirmed by Orem’s Self-Care Theory, which claimed that it is the desire of everyone to take care of him/herself. Thus, nursing should be concentrated on ensuring that the patients receive necessary help and their demands for the self-care are appropriately met until they have the capacity to manage it on their own (Karnick, 2014). The matters regarding care of the old in nursing evidently acquired a higher concern in 1954, when the federal government recognized the role of the nursing homes. In 1965 the passage of Medicare and Medicaid provided a platform where the industry of the nursing homes for the aged people flourished (“The history of nursing homes,” n. d). This set the pace for the formation of nursing homes as a standard form of care for the elderly in the twentieth century, whereby in 2000 the nursing homes formed approximately 100 billion industry (“The history of nursing homes,” n. d). Staying loyal to the spirit of good caring for the aged, nursing is now guided by policies such as the Affordable Care Act, where the demand on the caregivers means to provide evidence-based practice, not to mention patient-centered care. Therefore, it is clear that caring for the venerable patients has always been a matter of crucial importance for all nursing undertakings.

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Importance of Documented/Published Health Care Disparities/Inequalities

One of the common reasons of agitation in many healthcare sectors globally is the need to improve the access to their health services. Moreover, to enhance a continuous improvement of the accessibility to the health services, relevant data is vital to tackle the problem, since any intervention strategies may be sensitive to the realities in the field. Considering similar approaches, the documented health care disparities provide a crucial reference point to the policy makers in any health sector around the globe.

For instance, such documented cases of health disparities play a crucial role as they provide a clear illustration of the problems in the areas that need quick fixes. By indicating the areas where the ability to achieve healthcare services is heavily undermined, it becomes easier for the policy makers to introduce tailor-made strategies aimed at solving the issues in these mostly underserved areas (Prosen, 2015). Apart from this, paying attention to the problematic points, authority may faster identify various causal factors, thereby helping in the formulation of systemic solution that will lead to a significant improvement. In addition, it is due to the documented cases of inequality in accessing health services that retrospective auditing can be performed after careful consideration of the major gains and identification of the additional changes needed to improve the equality of the healthcare system (Prosen, 2015). Furthermore, a vast number of documented cases of inequality in the healthcare are also used as health disparity coefficient, whereby a correlation between health challenges that a particular population faces and accessibility to the health services is done. This is an important initiative that enables the policy makers to bring equality in the healthcare, since the coefficient identified in different areas highly influences the nature and the amount of resources channeled into interventions.

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Formalized Regulatory Guidelines

WHO is the body that governs the global health-related issues, and there have been some perennial problems that this organization had to face, namely the problems in healthcare sectors around the world as it was necessary to realign them in accordance with improvements in the services rendered to the elderly. In its “World Report on Aging and Health” (2015), the WHO agitates for more investments as a means of improving the care for the elderly people. In its ageing and life-course policy, the main aim is to ensure that there are clear systems that will provide the long-term care required by the patients of older people. Besides, the policy is tasked with trying to guarantee that caregivers around the world are well-trained to assist the elderly patients better (World Health Organization, 2015). Similarly, at the national level, in the context of the USA, the matters connected with caring for older population are well captured in both Affordable Care Act and the Healthy People 2020.

The purpose of the Healthy People 2020 is to ponder over the issue of the life quality and function of the elderly. This is an objective that is targeted at improving sensitization campaigns on clinical preventive care available for the retired people (ODPHP, 2016). In a similar manner, under the Affordable Care Act, the call for the healthcare sector aims to ensure the safety of the elderly through availing affordable, accessible, and qualitative health services (Maga & Lewis, 2014). Therefore, caring for the aging people is an engagement that is vigorously captured on both the national and international level.

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Moral, Legal, or Ethical Issues in Global Health of the Older Adult

Caring for the aged population demands a multiple number of research works in the line of formulating a sustainable and a long-term caring model. Hence, ethical issues are highly intertwined with matters that are related with the research work. One of the basic researches conducted was based on aging cognitive studies, where the aim was to correlate young and older memory comparison (Holtz, 2016). Informed consent is thus expected to be the norm in the studies where an older participant is aware of the purpose, impact, and risks involved in the study. Another ethical challenge is in the method of balancing the motive of inquiry and the need to protect the aged due to their vulnerability (Holtz, 2016). This is especially true when dealing with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease that leads to cognitive impairment. A conflict of interests is another moral challenge where a concerned nurse might encounter a situation where the choice requires being an advocate for the welfare of the elderly or following a predetermined choice in accordance with safeguarding his/her job by siding with the authority.

Burden of Chronic Care in the Context of Global Health of the Older Adult

Since a majority of diseases suffered by the older adults are long lasting, the treatment process is also rather expensive. In general, 23% of the total burden of diseases emanates from the population aged around 60 years old (Prince et.al, 2015). Moreover, chronic diseases such as heart complication are also common among the retired people, which demands huge costs to alleviate the problem (World Health Organization, 2015). Due to their weak immune system, the older adults are at higher risk of contracting diseases, and this is a phenomenon that has seen the agitation for more investment in the care delivery by both the WHO and national policies such as Healthy People 2020. Additionally, due to the fact that health disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease are common among the older population, there is the overdependence on the caregivers leading to the demand for nursing homes that attracts enormous costs to the health sector. Moreover, due to the expected rise of aged people globally, cancer incidences are also expected to increase up to 17 million by 2020 (Prince et.al, 2015), which is another eventuality that requires numerous investments in the healthcare sectors around the world.

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Healthcare Productivity and Economic Costs

Various matters related to the healthcare productivity and accompanying economic costs are other common issues for many countries. Generating costs is a goal that many countries are trying to pursue without jeopardizing the quality of the services offered. In an attempt to curb the costs in the healthcare sector, many governments are actively involved in the single-payer system, where the government is heavily engaged in setting the prices in healthcare delivery. A significant initiative undertaken by a nation is called the Affordable Act, where the issues connected with the costs were the main target during its formulation (Maga & Lewis, 2014). Besides this, taking into account the fact that caring for the aged is a continuous engagement, there is the need to uphold a high level of efficiency among the caregivers. Therefore, staying true to the most appropriate model of treatment, which is the team-based one, as it will ensure that there are improved care giving services accompanied by minimized levels of medical errors that attract huge reimbursement costs.

Conclusion

Evidently, the number of people in the age of 65 and above is on the increase, and thus, the need to ensure that the healthcare sectors are well-prepared to meet their demands arises. In addition to this, it is obvious that in most cases the approach to the diseases suffered by the aged demands long-term care which indicates necessitating specific investing in the relevant spheres. Moreover, it is easy to observe that collected data on heath disparities provides a crucial point of reference that allows specific, measurable, realistic, and timely realignments in the concerned areas. Thus, it is important to promote exclusivity in the healthcare services, as matters concerned with caring for the older adults need to be highly integrated into the health system to ensure that all people’ interests are appropriately safeguarded.

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