America faces an unprecedented challenge, the aging population factor. To live with a measure of independence and dignity, these aging Baby Boomers will need a wide range of professional health and social service expertise, as well as home care and residential supports and services. Providing our parents and grandparents quality care demands a coordinated team of well-trained professionals and caregivers. Aging population is something that has been on the rise in America today. So many will be reaching retirement because of these baby boomers. The cost of so many things will go up because of the aging population. Poverty affects the health of the elderly in significant ways. First, many are simply unable to afford the basics of minimal health care and prescription drugs. It is not unusual to find this group skimping on their prescriptions, skipping days or cutting the dosage. They may even share prescription drugs with others or take medication that is out of date and therefore ineffective or potentially dangerous. It’s not uncommon that such things as dental, vision and even hearing aids due the high costs. I know personally with my grandmother, my mom and I chipped in to help buy her hearing aids because of high costs. Even getting simple things as the batteries replaced is another trip in to see the doctor which costs even more money. Aging people of color are more likely than white Americans—7.9 percent of whom are poor—to experience poverty. Social Security plays a significant role in raising the incomes of many people of color above the poverty line. Elderly people of color are less likely than whites to receive private retirement benefits and are far less likely to have asset income, including interest on bank accounts and investments, dividends, rental income on property, and estates and trusts. (Cawthorne, 2008) I feel the economy helps in some ways with the elderly such as their social security. As stated earlier, social security plays a huge role when it comes to the elderly. If there wasn’t for social security and Medicare, the aging population would be forced to go back to working so they could receive some money and benefits through the workforce.
Those with disabilities would even have more of a struggle. When you have a disability that is glaringly obvious such as one that means you are in a wheelchair, you suddenly lose your status as a human being. You are an object of curiosity and/or great discomfort for others. And it doesn't matter how old you are, you are suddenly treated like a child, and a developmentally delayed child at that! I feel American’s have taken into some consideration that they need to respect those with disabilities. But in other cases, I feel that those with disabilities or even elderly with a disabilities are looked down upon. Being asked nosy and inappropriate questions is something I don't think I'll ever get used to. I see people in public asking those with disabilities about how they do it. No one would dream of going up to someone and asking them about their health status and medical history but they will go up to someone with a disability and ask, what happened to you, why are you in a wheelchair, etc. And people are constantly checking up on me, asking me if someone is with me, am I all right, do you need me to call someone for you, and so on.
Being treated like an imbecile because I just