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Aging - Research Paper Example

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Aging

Aging refers to the biological process of growing old and developing physical characteristics that are associated with old age (Oswald, Jopp, Rott & Wahl, 2011, p 239). Aging is a multidisciplinary phenomenon that encompasses studies from various fields such as biology, genetics, sociology and psychology. Aging can also refer to the individual’s change in roles and responsibilities such as roles towards the family and society. Another meaning of aging is the physical changes that reduce the efficiency of body organ systems such as heart, blood circulation system and lungs. This occurs due to decline in rate of cell replications as an individual gets older (Oswald, Jopp, Rott & Wahl, 2011, p 245). Gerontological nursing refers to the study of the aging processes as individuals progress from middle age to later life. Gerontology studies the mental, physical and social changes associated with older people and changes in social policies aimed at taking care of the aged population (Scheibe & Carstensen, 2010, p 143). Gerontology nursing applies to community nursing through integrating advanced knowledge and skills in delivering quality and safe health care to the aged in the community. The branch of nursing focuses on health screening, counseling, and crisis intervention in order to provide quality care to older people (Oswald, Jopp, Rott & Wahl, 2011, p 248). According to U.S Census Bureau statistics released in 2010, the country’s age composition changed greatly between 2000 and 2010. Individuals aged between 45 to 65 years increased by 31.5 percent and accounts for about 26.4 of the total population. The number of Americans aged 65 years and above numbered 40,267,984 in 2010 and represented almost 12.4percent of the total population (Oswald, Jopp, Rott & Wahl, 2011, p 248). Accordingly, the aged individuals increased by 15.3 percent or 5.4 million citizens since 2010. Surprisingly, there were 53, 364 people aged more than 100 years. Target goals of Healthy People 2010 aims at reducing tooth loss, ensuring the aged receive flu vaccine every year and ensuring 90 percent of adults aged 65 years and older receive pneumonia vaccine. Accordingly, the target goals aim at getting colorectal cancer screening at the age of 50 years and ensuring 70 percent of women receive a mammogram at the age of 40 years. The targets aim at preventing falling through ensuring the aged citizens have healthy bones, increasing leisure and ensuring the aged increase intake of fruits and vegetables (Scheibe & Carstensen, 2010, p 143). There are numerous community issues affecting the elderly population. One of the issues affecting elderly people is poverty since majorities of these individuals depend on social security benefits. Another issue affecting this group is high risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart related diseases. The elderly also suffer from sensory impairments and poor oral health problems such as vision impairment, hearing impairment and loss of tooth. Other issues include lack of adequate access to vaccinations, poor diet quality, inadequate physical activity, obesity, inadequate physical activity and cigarette smoking behaviors (Scheibe & Carstensen, 2010, p 144). Community nursing practices must offer quality and safe nursing care to the elderly through carrying out an assessment of nursing needs. The assessment phase must collect data about each elderly person, the disease symptoms, surrounding environment such as close family members, access to recreational facilities and income level of the elderly person (Wick, 2010, p 121). ...Show more

Summary

Aging refers to the biological process of growing old and developing physical characteristics that are associated with old age.Aging is a multidisciplinary phenomenon that encompasses studies from various fields such as biology, genetics, sociology and psychology…
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