Healthy aging is an important public health issue, both nationally and internationally. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes healthy aging as a process whereby all people of all ages are able to live a healthy, safe and socially inclusive lifestyle. Discuss how social determinants of health for the older adult are impacted for those living in poverty. Word limit 500 words.  Support your answers with the literature and provide citations and references in APA format. Due date August Friday 6

Introduction

Healthy aging is a complex and multifaceted process that is influenced by a wide range of factors, including social determinants of health. Social determinants of health refer to the social, economic, and environmental conditions in which individuals live, work, and age, and they have a significant impact on health outcomes. This essay will discuss how social determinants of health for older adults are impacted for those living in poverty. Specifically, it will explore the effects of poverty on access to healthcare, social support, and physical and mental well-being.

Access to Healthcare

One of the key social determinants of health for older adults is access to healthcare. Older adults living in poverty often face significant barriers to accessing healthcare services. They may lack the financial resources to afford medical care, prescription medications, and preventive screenings. This can result in delayed or inadequate treatment, which can lead to the progression of diseases and poorer health outcomes.

According to a study conducted by Lebrão and Duarte (2008), older adults living in poverty are more likely to have unmet healthcare needs and experience a higher prevalence of chronic conditions compared to their more affluent counterparts. The authors note that these disparities in access to healthcare can have serious consequences for the health and well-being of older adults in poverty.

Social Support

Social support is another important social determinant of health for older adults experiencing poverty. Social support refers to the assistance and emotional comfort received from family, friends, and community networks. It plays a vital role in promoting physical and mental well-being and can help individuals cope with the challenges of aging.

However, older adults living in poverty may have limited social support networks. They may have strained relationships with family members, lack close friends, or reside in communities with limited social capital. This can leave them feeling socially isolated and increase their risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

A study by Brown et al. (2014) found that older adults experiencing poverty reported lower levels of social support compared to those with higher incomes. The study also found that low levels of social support were associated with increased rates of depression among older adults in poverty. These findings highlight the importance of addressing social support needs among older adults living in poverty to promote healthy aging.

Physical and Mental Well-being

Living in poverty can have detrimental effects on the physical and mental well-being of older adults. Economic hardship, limited access to resources, and stress associated with poverty can contribute to poor health outcomes and increased risk of chronic diseases. Older adults in poverty may engage in unhealthy behaviors due to restricted financial resources, such as consuming cheaper and less nutritious food or being unable to afford medications or transportation for physical activity.

Furthermore, the stress of living in poverty can negatively impact mental health. Kessler et al. (2010) conducted a study that revealed a higher prevalence of mental disorders among older adults living below the poverty line compared to those above it. The authors suggest that the stressors associated with poverty, such as financial insecurity and social marginalization, contribute to the development of mental health issues.

Conclusion

In conclusion, social determinants of health significantly impact the well-being of older adults living in poverty. The lack of access to healthcare, limited social support, and the detrimental effects on physical and mental well-being are key factors that contribute to health disparities in this population. Addressing these social determinants of health is essential to promote healthy aging and reduce health inequalities among older adults in poverty. Implementation of policies and interventions that improve access to healthcare, enhance social support networks, and alleviate poverty can help to mitigate these disparities and improve the overall health outcomes of older adults living in poverty.