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Discuss the way in which age impacts on peoples health and well-being in Britain today. What challenges does this pose for professional practice and how might you respond to this?

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Introduction

| Page Student ID: 3021749 ________________ Coventry University Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Adult Nursing January 2010 Inequalities in Health and Social Care 101SWW Discuss the way in which age impacts on people?s health and well-being in Britain today. What challenges does this pose for professional practice and how might you respond to this? Set word count: 2,000 Actual word count: 2,198 Submission date: 26th January 20 In society today people face many challenges in relation to health. This assignment will discuss the way in which age itself impacts on a person?s health and well-being. Ageism has been defined as ?discrimination against someone on the ground of age? (Watson, 2001).This assignment will look at different age categories focussing on children, young people and the elderly. The author will look at each age category giving examples of the types of inequalities that exist and will explore how these can be reduced. Further areas that will be explored are the challenges that are faced by nurses and other health care professionals (HCP?s) in Britain in meeting the needs of children, young persons and the elderly. Child and young person?s health: A child?s health and well-being can be affected by many different issues. It is important to make sure that every child has a balanced diet to enable growth and development. ...read more.

Middle

Nutritional health is important to people of all ages. In children the responsibility for this lies with the parent or guardian. When a person becomes older maintaining a well balanced diet can be difficult, this can be due to physiological, psychological and social changes. The older person can be at risk of malnutrition due to many difficulties such as not being able to chew their food properly; this could be due to loss of teeth or through ill fitted dentures. Davies, N (2001). As a person ages they could have a loss of taste or smell which could hinder their enjoyment of food. Gabriballa, S (2004). Other reasons such as the reduced elasticity of the stomach or constipation could affect the absorption of essential nutrients. As a Nurse it is important to use the Malnutrition and Universal Screening Tool when a patient is either malnourished, at risk of being malnourished, or obese: this enables the team involved in the Patient?s care to use guidelines to be able to develop a care plan. It is also essential to work together with other HCP?s. These include a dietician if the patient is at risk. Patients with swallowing or aspiration problems would need referring to the speech and language team. ...read more.

Conclusion

HCP?s should not generalise patients according to their age or their illness as everyone is unique. HCP?s should not be influenced by media portrayal of young persons and should focus on the patient and not the age. The NMC (2008) agree and state that every person regardless of age, race, gender, class/poverty, sexual orientation or disability should be treated as an individual with dignity and respect and not discriminated against in any way. It is also essential that HCP?s take into account their own values, beliefs and attitudes when caring for patients and do not hold the negative attitudes against certain age groups that exist. It is worrying for any age group in Britain today with all the government cuts and the way in which the economy is plummeting into the recession. There are also many other inequalities that prevent people from living a healthy life. There is however help and support available for all patients and their families to be able to maintain a healthy life. All members of the multidisciplinary team must work in partnership by communicating with each other and providing combined health assessments for the patient, this will be able to provide the patient with the best possible care. Health education, screening and immunisation programmes must be promoted using evidence based practice and all members of the multi-disciplinary team must work to policies, guidelines and government targets to be able to reduce the inequalities that still exist. ...read more.

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