Disparities in Healthcare

Essay by livininthelouCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2013

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Care Disparities Among Age Groups, As They Relate To Heart Failure, Kidney Disease, Diabetes and Hypertension

As a group, the diagnoses of heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes and hypertension are all closely interlinked and affect an ever-increasing segment of the American population. Each diagnosis can be present on its own, or be cause or result of any of the other three. They all present in relatively consistent ways, and are generally manageable with medication and lifestyle changes. Obesity and smoking are common denominators among all four diseases and any treatment plan will include weight management, as well as smoking cessation. Nursing care models for patients with those or related diagnoses are evidenced based and well established. That said, for a nurse practicing in a period of historic demands on healthcare by people over 65, it is imperative he be aware of any differences in approach to the nursing process for different age groups.

Are the signs and symptoms the same for the older adult? Are there variances in appropriate laboratory values for younger adults? How does age determine general treatment regimens for these diseases? Finally, and most important, how does it impact effective nursing care?