Health Care Organization and Delivery Systems Vulnerable Population Paper

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Vulnerable Population Paper As defined by cambridge advanced learner's dictionary (2002), vulnerability is the ability to be easily physically, emotionally, or mentally hurt, influenced or attacked. The elderly in America are considered to be a vulnerable population in regards to health, wellness and provision of healthcare. While this consideration may sometimes be based on assumptions related to age and wellness, there are increased risk factors that do place majority of this population at a higher risk for illness and injury. Most of the risk factors that come along with age can affect one’s health are decreased mobility, increased incidence of chronic disease, possible social isolation, financial decline related to voluntary or involuntary retirement, nutritional needs, and a host of age related changes and illnesses that affect this group. They may have significant emotional losses, such as that of a spouse or home or other drastic changes that affect and change their previous lives and views of self. This paper will discuss the population demographics for the elderly people. In addition it will explain why the elderly population is classified as vulnerable, the challenges on the elderly population, the impact of the elderly population on the health care system, analysis of how stakeholders in various sectors of the American health care system are affected by the elderly population and description of how the health care system can best serve the elderly population. According to the United States Census Bureau, in today century, the rate of growth of the elderly population (persons 65 years old and over) has greatly exceeded the growth rate of the population of the country as a whole. The elderly increased by a factor of 11, from 3 million in 1900 to 33 million in 1994. In comparison, the total population, as well as the population under

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