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Essay on Caring for the Old in Ireland

2021-08-25 14:30:36
6 pages
1383 words
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Sewanee University of the South
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Essay
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Ireland has an increasing number of individuals who are at the age of sixty-five and older. Most of these older people who are living in Ireland never seriously thought of the time they would age and have only started giving it attention after they began to experience health issues and ailments (Heaslip, 2009 p.50). Even though the older people in Ireland are generally positive regarding aging, they still have some serious concerns such as poor health, loneliness, and what the future of their children will be like. Currently, there are over 460,000 individuals over the age of sixty-five living in Ireland, and it has been approximated that by the year 2046 the figure will have risen to 1.4 million (Heaslip, 2009 p.55).

The number of people who will be above 80 years has been anticipated to increase four times from 128,000 to 470,000 (Heaslip, 2009 p.58). As the age progresses, there will be more causes of chronic conditions which are Irelands primary cause of morbidity and death. Chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and musculoskeletal pain familiar with an aging population are projected to have a 40% increase by 2020. Individuals over the age of 75 have a higher chance of getting multimorbidity which is a common determinant of quality of life and resource utilization (Heaslip, 2009 p.61).

With age, progression comes more diseases and disability, but most of the burden of health issues among older individuals can be decreased or prevented through the effective addressing of specific risk factors including injuries (Oneil & Okeeffe, 2008 p.1283). Falls and injuries have been known to cause a significant amount of problems with diseases and disability in aging individuals. As people grow older, the risk of falling also increases which can cause injuries such as the femur fracture which demands hospitalization and expensive health care such as rehabilitation. The femur fracture causes significant functional limitations that require long-term care like admissions to nursing homes (Oneil & Okeeffe, 2008 p.1287).

Risk Factors for Non-communicable diseases

To ensure that one has healthy aging it demands a process that is lifelong, and when one develops patterns of harmful behavior early in life it reduces their quality of life and at times leads to premature death. The onset of chronic conditions is usually triggered by physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol, poor nutrition, and tobacco use (Oneil & Okeeffe, 2008 p.1295). Chronic diseases like chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and mental disorders are known to be responsible for seventy-seven percent of disease burden and eighty-six percent of the deaths in Ireland (Oneil & Okeeffe, 2008 p.1299). The groups that are most disadvantaged suffer the most from the weight of these diseases.

Poverty

As one gets older, the risk of poverty also increase, and women are usually the most affected more than men. Additionally, only a few older people are capable of paying for health costs like prescription drugs using their own money (Woodman, 2012 p.38). The WHO in Ireland has joined efforts with the Member of States to help them establish laws that will reduce such financial risk and ensure that there is an equitable health system funding share.

Social Exclusion, Isolation, and Mental Health Disorders

Aging people are faced with risk factors ill health and social determinants such as loneliness, social exclusion, and social isolation. They impact all the health and wellbeing aspects like mental health, the risk of maltreatment, malnutrition, and dehydration.

Elder Maltreatment

Elder maltreatment is the financial, mental, physical, and sexual abuse and neglect of individuals above the age of sixty years. Research shows that at least four million aging people Ireland experience this maltreatment. Maltreatment has severe impacts on the mental and physical wellbeing of aging people and can reduce their quality of life and survival if it is left unchecked (Woodman, 2012 p. 47).

The concepts of caring for the old in Ireland

In Ireland, there are a variety of services designed to care for the elderly mainly to take care of their needs. The support given to this age groups ensure they remain at home so long as their houses are practical and safe. One good example is the Acute Hospital services. The establishments provided emergency and planned inpatient care, outpatient diagnostic facility and emergency departments (Corish, 2015 p.167). Some of the hospitals, in this case, give day care services that pertain consultancy offers that is full medically paid. In cases where the patient was admitted, the staff of the hospital organizes with the community member on the day of discharge to take care with the old.

The old in Ireland are also offered with community services from community healthcare organizations particularly for the dependant at home. In most cases, this age group is provided with informal and family careers. Moreover, the primary care team offer supportive family services like physiotherapist, language and speech therapists as well as occupational therapists (Corish, 2015 p.174). The old are also given home support such as day-care, home help and residential services such as respite care, extended stay care, and short stay care.

Health promotion for the old in Ireland

Irelands world health organization collaborates with people over 65 years of age by engaging them in 30 minutes moderate physical exercise. According to the research, the old between 70-93 years should be involved in physical activities to lower their chronic conditions, depression and decrease their mobility limitations (Greengross, 2014 p.11). Older women, on the other hand, are usually engaged in these activities especially if they are insufficiently active or their social-economic status are lower than the expected levels of operations.

Ireland also has policy level programmes that assist the old to be successful when they have specific and tailored targets. In normal circumstances, the issues concerning poverty, structural inequalities, and health are tackled for the aging to address their socio-economic challenges to prevent some of them from dis-engaging from physical activities (Greengross, 2014 p.24). The study also shows that physical exercises for the old despite their demonstrable physical strengths is mental beneficial (Greengross, 2014 p.37).

The Awareness of the dying people and their families

In Ireland individuals that have un-curable disease meant for the old are usually taken care by the palliative health service (Cunningham & Larkin, 2011 p.241). In the past, the organization was only meant to take care of people that had chronic diseases. Palliative care, in other words, acted as the final chapter to a patient by ensuring that they undergo a less painful and difficult death (Cunningham & Larkin, 2011 p.251). However, the old and their families today are taken care of by this organization. Health professionals take care of the families of the patients that undergo long-term treatment to comfort them in case their loved one died.

Recommendations

Based on Irelands way of caring for the old, there are a few factors that should be considered for a smooth operation. The health institutional of Ireland should make sure that they have enough registered nurses having the assumption that every year a number of old people retire and are left helpless. There should also be uniform national care standards that resemble all residential systems in Ireland. Lastly, there should be regular inspections that publish information based on the quality of the healthcare, the ethos and environmental care like the self-identity through physical activities and therapies.

Conclusion

The old people in the societies are individuals who are sensitive and should be well taken care of. Based on Irelands systems, the elderly are properly taken because has an increasing number of individuals who are at the age of sixty-five and older. Even though the older people in Ireland are generally positive regarding aging, they still have some serious concerns such as poor health, loneliness, and what the future of their children will be like. Ireland also has policy level programmes that assist the old to be successful when they have specific and tailored targets.

References

Corish, P. (2015). The Waning of Old Ireland. Books Ireland, (97), 161-188. doi: 10.2307/20625623

Cunningham, C., & Larkin, P. J. (2011). Pediatric Palliative Care in Ireland. Pediatric Palliative Care: Global Perspectives, 239-250. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-2570-6_14

Greengross, B. S. (2014). The Old World, positive future. The journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 124(1), 11-41. doi: 10.1177/146642400312400104

Heaslip, V. (2009). Vulnerability and Old Age. Caring for Older People in Nursing, 45-67. doi:10.4135/9781526401557.n4

Oneill, D., & Okeeffe, S. (2008). Health Care for Older People in Ireland. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51(9), 1280-1299. doi:10.1046/j.1532-5415.2003.51414.x

Woodman, P. (2012). Irish Archaeology Today: A Poverty amongst Riches. The Irish Review (1986- ), (12), 34-88. doi: 10.2307/29735641

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