It’s probably important that I explain with a demographic is first, in words that are meaningful to me; a demographic is a group of people that can be separated from other groups of people. Because of the nature of a global society, there is a lot of interconnectedness between demographics, as I hope to show in this paper. Examples of demographics for the sake of this paper will be the elderly, the chronically ill, and those who live far below the poverty level. You will notice right away that these three demographics often run parallel with each other. In fact, in terms of disparities in health, we can view these as sub-demographics of one large and very underserved demographic.
We all like to think that the elderly of this country are all being taken care of in one way or another, living with and being taken care of by their children in a comfortable home; that they are at least in a comfortable retirement community or at the very least have been placed in a convalescent home where they have a community with which they have access to meaningful and precious friendships and quality healthcare. This isn’t the case at all. Most of the elderly live, or are trying to live, on their own or with their spouse, with no other family to rely on, and no place to go (West, et al. 2014). Most of them can’t afford a retirement community or even a community home with health care.
These people have to fight day to day, not just for the normal things in life that many of us have struggled to do, but they have to fight chronic illnesses that don’t exist among more privileged elderly. They battle against diabetes, obesity, pulmonary diseases and hypertension at a higher rate (Sack, 2008). They tend to be less mobile, and have far less access to affordable care. Sadly, because of this, they live about ten years less than the elderly who have all the proper resources.
Sack, K. (2008). The Short End of the Longer Life. The New York Times.
West, L., Cole, S., Goodkind, D., & He, W. (2014). 65+ in the United States: 2010. US Census Bureau.