PICOT; Healthcare and the Aging Population
The process of aging is a reasonable time-related phenomenon; it begins at birth and proceeds throughout an individual’s lifetime. The older section of the population is growing at a rate faster than the rest of the American population. According to a U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the older adults (individuals aged 65 years and more) will be more than the people of the youths (individuals aged 18 years and below) by the year 2030.Consistent with the increase in the old population growth will be the community of persons who live to be very old (Elliott et al., 2016). Such a situation will pose a challenge to the health professionals; they will have to come up with plans to cater for the increased prevalence of disease within this elderly population.
Equally important to note is the fact that many chronic conditions commonly associated with the older population can be prevented, limited and managed. Aging is a normal physiological process that everyone is bound to go through. Chronic conditions such as stroke, cardiovascular diseases, cancer continue to be the leading causes of death among individuals aged above 65 years. Such conditions coupled with Alzheimer’s disease are also the primary causes of disability among the older population (McNeil et al., 2016). Such glaring realities have only fueled the belief that aging makes people sick, unproductive and unintelligent.
A lot of effort has gone into changing the health outcomes for the aged; much of it has been through preventive medicine. One of the primary prevention strategies proposed is that people should go for annual screening and physical check-up by the age of 40 years (Stone, 2011). This paper has, therefore, come up with the picot question. Does going for physical check-ups and screening tests annually in Americans by the age of 40 years lower the risk for chronic illnesses (cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease) when they become older adults (above 65 years)?
The question will be insightful if answered. It will add knowledge that nurses and other health professional the effectiveness of the health promotion strategy. The results and findings such a study can be used to inform health promotion interventions for the older adults and reduce the ageism (McNeil et al., 2016). The question if answered can provide knowledge and skills for nurses to provide care that is appropriate to the age. The nurses will be able to appreciate what healthy aging comprises and what abnormal aging is.
The answers to the above question are also helpful in cutting down on the health care cost. The high cost of healthcare is incurred in treating the chronic conditions and paying for the home based care in nursing homes or other private care facilities. The older adults are no longer working and therefore have no revenue source leaving their families and the medical insurance cover to cater for the medical bills (Stone, 2011). If the older adults start going for check-ups and screening early and the strategy is successful in lowering risk and subsequently incidences of chronic illnesses the government and families will save a lot of money (Hatfield, Favreault, McGuire, & Chernew, 2016).
Early detection will go a long way in ensuring a healthier older population. The question is, therefore, vital in establishing the need to go for physical check-ups and screening early enough.
Elliott, J., McNeil, H., Ashbourne, J., Huson, K., Boscart, V., & Stolee, P. (2016). Engaging Older Adults in Health Care Decision-Making: A Realist Synthesis. The Patient – Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 9(5), 383-393. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40271-016-0168-x
Hatfield, L., Favreault, M., McGuire, T., & Chernew, M. (2016). Modeling Health Care Spending Growth of Older Adults. Health Services Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1475-6773.12640
McNeil, H., Elliott, J., Huson, K., Ashbourne, J., Heckman, G., Walker, J., & Stolee, P. (2016). Engaging older adults in healthcare research and planning: a realist synthesis. Research Involvement And Engagement, 2(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40900-016-0022-2
Stone, C. (2011). Geriatrics (1st ed.). Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood.