Health of Aboriginal Seniors.
Health issue has been a major problem not only in Canada but also in the world at large. The subject has been making headlines right, left and centre. As much as everybody has in one way or the other been affected, it seems like the Aboriginal people have been more affected. It is understood that since the Aboriginal people came into contact with the Europeans, they have been subject to numerous forms of inequalities. This has affected all aspects of their lives and well-being. This trend seems to have found its way into the current society.
According to CBCnews (2013) it is clear that various dimensions of health among the Aboriginal people is influenced by a broad range of social determinants. They can be categorised as distal determinants, intermediate determinants, and proximal determinants. Under the distal determinants, the impact and the manifestation of them can clearly be seen. The socio-political context of the Aboriginal people can be seen from the fact that many carry scars of immense racism that they were subjected to (CBCnews, 2013). Their way of living was changed since they first came into contact with ‘foreigners’. For instance, families were torn apart and this severely affected the family structure and other norms that distinguished the Aboriginals.
Most of the determinants that have been discussed seem to fall under the proximal category. They include physical environment, employment and income and food insecurity. Under the physical environment, there is the issue of overcrowding which is mostly the case when one moves to residential schools (CBCnews, 2013). This alongside unemployment, have had the greatest impact. This is because with the limited resources available, people are unable to act upon the more pressing issues. Unemployment leads to low income and thus offering no way out of the situation. Food insecurity is also common among the Aboriginal people. Limited access to the healthcare system is also a determinant. Many are not in a position to access these facilities. Failure to access them translates into people suffering from chronic diseases which could have been treated preventable.
The reason why the social determinants of health can be said to be an issue is because they influence a wide range of health capacities and vulnerabilities, health management and health behavior (Reading & Wien, 2009). It is evident that Aboriginal people have over a long time now experienced negligence in many aspects of their lives. These inequalities have made them carry an additional burden of health problems. This situation is made even worse by the fact that the access to the necessary resources that might help to ameliorate these problems is mostly restricted. Not only do the social determinants influence diverse dimensions of health, they also in one way or the other lead to environment and circumstances that, in turn, represent subsequent determinants of health (Reading & Wien, 2009). For instance, living in low income conditions has been linked to an increase in disability and illness. This kind of social determinant which is common among the Aboriginal people can be linked diminished opportunities to engage in any gainful activities, thereby increasing poverty rate.
It is evident that there is a big problem in the Canadian culture as show by the author. From the article, the author has in more than one way highlighted the extent of the problem that Canada is facing. From the very beginning when the two groups came into contact (Aboriginal and the Europeans) discrimination has been very high. It has manifested itself in different forms ranging from racism to inequalities in other sectors like in healthcare (Reading & Wien, 2009). The author indicates that the problem has been persistent not because it can’t be solved, but because it the concerned authorities have taken things for granted. Failure to deal with the root cause of the problem has led to other related problems cropping up. The author vividly shows how these social determinants of health have made the Aboriginal people ravage in poverty and poor living standards for a long time. However, the author shows that there are ways through which these problems can be solved. It would be worth noting that some steps have been taken to mend what has been wanting for so long. Strides in the right direction can be seen to be taken which will enhance the health of the Aboriginal and in turn, the health of the entire country (Reading & Wien, 2009). A lot has been done but even more needs to be done in order to attain the ultimate goal and objective.
Just like any other material gone through, the article only emphasizes on the same points. It indicates and clearly shows how negligence can lead to problems. The lack of facilities has been widely discussed in all the materials read (Tree, 2007). The social determinants of health have been deeply discussed in all the materials. In reference to the materials it is not all doom for the Aboriginal people. This is because they all shows that the situation can be mended through different ways. The situation can’t be allowed to continue any longer and that quality healthcare is for all and not a select few (Tree, 2007).
Access to quality health care is a right of every person anywhere around the world. Race, gender and any other aspect should not be used as a barrier to quality health care. It is right to say that whatever the Aboriginal people have been subjected to is not ideal for any human being. Different bodies from the government to other organization have been trying to correct what has been wrong for so long. A lot have been done but much more remains to be done. Health care should be made universally for the better of the entire mankind.
Aboriginal seniors have a harder time staying healthy. (2013, November 28). CBCnews. Retrieved February 15, 2014, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/aboriginal-seniors-have-a-harder-time-staying-healthy
Eating habits and nutrient intake of Aboriginal adults aged 19-50, living off-reserve in Ontario and the western provinces. (2012). Ottawa: Health Canada.
Reading, C. L., & Wien, F. (2009). Health inequalities and the social determinants of Aboriginal peoples' health. Prince George, B.C.: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.
Tree, T. B. (2007, May 1). Aboriginal Health in Canada: Historical, Cultural, and Epidemiological Perspectives.. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 4, 29.