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Developing Quality Care for the Vulnerable Elderly Essay

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Updated: May 10th, 2020

A vulnerable population is a population that lives with an economic disadvantage, is in the racial or ethnic minority, suffers from a human immunodeficiency virus, is uninsured or homeless, and suffers from an incurable chronic health condition. The vulnerability of the population is usually outlined by race, gender, or ethnicity alongside with other factors like low income or lack of insurance coverage. The health issues connected to the vulnerable population are intertwined with the social aspects of their lives that include the absence of housing, poverty, or lack of proper education (“Vulnerable Populations: Who Are They?” 348).

When it comes to the elderly as a vulnerable population, their vulnerability is often correlated with the term ‘helplessness.’ Some older people can be vulnerable to abuse, which is interpreted as something unstable about their health conditions (their physical state, a particular learning disability, the state of their mental health). The individual circumstances of their lives make them unable to protect themselves from cases of outside abuse (Clough 1).

Because of the lack of awareness, the majority of cases of elder abuse and elder vulnerability have been overlooked. Moreover, there is a frightening number of cases of financial exploitation of the elderly, which means illegal use of the property or funds. Neglect is also a serious case of elderly abuse; for example, refusing to provide food or shelter for the vulnerable person may result in some tragic consequences.

The Theory of Change can strongly apply in the case of the elderly population. The most important aspect is the importance of human rights. According to Joseph M. Wronka, “Human rights offer a kind of universal language and a set of agreements allowing those involved in helping to engage in a dialogue” (2). The proponents of the Theory of Change are keen on encouraging making changes in programs or specific requirements (Vogel 4).

When it comes to the application of the Theory of Leadership to the vulnerable population of the elderly, the best aspect of it is the management of transformational theory. It is focused on the relationship between leaders and their followers. The elderly, due to their incapability and physical disadvantages, are unable to voice their opinions, thus, they are in need of a strong and engaging leader. Such a leader is able to motivate the followers to see the importance in themselves as well as encourage them to achieve the higher good (Wronka 2). According to Mark S. Homan, “Working with others to promote change requires more than you being a leader and collecting a bunch of followers. To be successful, you will be working with others who are acting powerfully and in concert” (11).

To sum up, the vulnerable elders are those older than sixty-five and those who are at very high risks of death (Developing Quality of Care Indicators for the Vulnerable Elderly 2). The application of theories of Change and Leadership with regards to the vulnerable elderly is useful for two reasons: some government policies that tend to overlook the importanct of the care about the elderly should be changed in favor of them, as well as the vulnerable population needs some strong and caring leaders that will encourage them to voice their opinions and as well as being strong and protective of themselves in cases of abuse.

Works Cited

Clough, R. What Makes Older People Vulnerable? What Sort of Events Trigger Requests or Need for Services and Support? 2010. Web.

. n.d. Web.

Homan, M. Promoting Community Change: Making It Happen in the Real World (SW 381T Dynamics of Organizations and Communities). 5th ed. 2010. Bellmont, CA: Cengage Learning. Print.

Vogel, I. . 2012. Web.

“Vulnerable Populations: Who Are They?” The American Journal for Managed Care, 12 (2006): 13. Print.

Wronka, J. Human Rights and Social Justice: Social Action and Service for the Helping and Health Professions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2008. Print.

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