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Human health is a priority to individuals, communities, non-governmental groups, governments, and international associations. An effective planning process addresses the current and future needs of the people. Human health is an essential requirement, and individuals should invest in their well-being while the government lays necessary measures to provide health services primarily to vulnerable groups. The vulnerable population living at high health risks includes children, the poor, the aged, and people living with disabilities (Trusted Choice Team, 2020). The individuals in these categories have greater chances of being affected by chronic and other adverse infections due to their weak body immunity. Therefore, they should be protected constantly bypassing health bills that simplify their access to medical care. This study’s scope will be limited to a health policy relating to the geriatric population using Milio’s approach.
The geriatric population is composed of the least productive members of society. Although they pay taxes during their years of employment, they no longer participate actively in the economic building at their advanced age. The World Health Organization (WHO) states the right to health as a claim to a set of structures that ensure everyone enjoys the rights (Baer et al., 2016). Governments should initiate healthcare measures that provide the aged access to health care services at a reasonable cost. Some of the steps may include providing health insurance plans for the aged and other health determinants such as proper housing, a clean environment, and sanitization. The provision of preventive measures for chronic diseases, pain-relieving medicines, and enough public healthcare institutions with quality services also favors health care for the geriatric population.
Milio’s Policy Process
Milio wrote resourceful materials discussing the health sector’s improvements and other industries that can promote healthy living. She states that the physical environment and behavior patterns significantly impact either promoting or hindering healthy living (Super et al., 2020). Some of the tools discussed by Milio as health-enhancing policies in other sectors include the development of social epidemiology, improved health education and health economics, and information technology (Super et al., 2020). She also discussed the role of love and power in promoting healthy living. Milio’s approach is applied in this study to examine the role of the environment in health-enhancing among the elderly societal members.
The Environmental Policy
Knowing an individual’s physical environment is crucial in preventing and controlling some diseases and infections common during old age. Prevention of some illnesses would be a better measure compared to managing the condition or even treatment. The geriatric population is very vulnerable to multiple functional impairments. Healthy living can be attained by maintaining a clean physical environment, a well-balanced diet, and access to social, and moral support. The geriatric population should be settled in places free from pollutants such as air pollutants, noise, harmful chemicals, unclean water, and residential areas, free from toxic metal contents such as mercury and aluminum (Fachbibliothek Umwelt, 2017). Therefore, policies relating to reliable, effective, and efficient health care of the elderly in their physical environment should be formulated.
Some human-triggered and naturally-caused changes in the environment are causes of some health problems. Environmental changes such as high air pollution and high ozone levels are harmful to the human breathing system (Fachbibliothek Umwelt, 2017). Less concern about health care is directed to the environment, while much effort and funds are invested in the other measures to maintain a healthy environment. The geriatric population is very vulnerable and should not be exposed to a harsh climate. Therefore, health policies concerning maintaining a healthy environment should be formulated.
In addition to the living conditions, the environmental factor should be considered compared to the accessibility of medical care. The geriatric population is affected by many health problems which require close medical check-ups and regular clinics. The check-ups may involve visiting a health care facility or the physician visiting the patient at their homes. The American Geriatrics Society (2020) supports implementing a policy on assisting the geriatric population in fighting Covid-19 through the establishment of Assisted Living Facilities (ALF). The policy would ensure that the elderly have close access to medical care and treatment by relocating to a residential where they can be taken care of in a better way.
This study supports the Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) policy to be implemented fully considering the health factor instead of Covid-19 infection. The policy would be sustained by the Medicare program and some individual costs to pay for the rental residence. The family members of the person under medication would take care of them during the treatment period, providing meals and other basic needs. Care and time from family members ensure both moral and physical support, which Milio was advocating for.
Inconsistence of the Policy
The main challenge facing the implementation of environmental policies on geriatric population health is inconsistency in service delivery. Poor planning has delayed the implementation of government policies on maintaining a pollution-free environment and Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) may not be fully implemented. Moreover, they are not entirely acts of mercy but mainly compensation for people’s health insurance plans. The policy demonstrates discrimination and unfairness since it is implemented effectively to the affluent members who have heavy insurance covers while delayed or denied to the poor who are even more vulnerable.
Therefore, the geriatric population can have better lives if the necessary measures for preventing and controlling infections are put in place. A healthy environment should be free from hazards and pollutants, access to medical care, and enough physical, material, and moral support from family members. Therefore, governments should formulate and fully implement policies relating to the environment of the geriatric population.
American Geriatrics Society. (2020). American Geriatrics Society (AGS) policy brief: COVID ‐19 and assisted living facilities. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 68(6), 1131-1135. Web.
Baer, B., Bhushan, A., Taleb, H. A., Vasquez, J., & Thomas, R. (2016). The right to health of older people. The Gerontologist, 56(Suppl 2), S206-S217. Web.
Trusted Choice Team. (2020). Senior health insurance. TrustedChoice. Web.
Fachbibliothek Umwelt (2017). Environmental pollution and diseases of the elderly. Umweltbundesamt. Web.
Super, S., Klerkx, L. W. A., Hermens, N., & Koelen, M. A. (2020). A multilevel transition perspective on embedding intersectoral action in local health policies. Health Promotion International, 1-12. Web.