The paper at hand will be devoted to an issue of elderly care. This is accounted for by the fact that over several decades, there has been a considerable increase in the number of illnesses among elderly patients. For instance: melanoma: APC = 6.18%, 94% CI = 4.32, 8.03%; renal disease: APC = 8.55%, 94% CI = 7.61; Alzheimer’s disease: APC = 3.92%, 95% CI = 2.64, 5.22%. These numbers indicate that the general population of the country is aging while the overall condition of the elderly leaves much to be desired. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that this population group (>65) is more likely to suffer from clusters of diseases, which means that they deal with several conditions at the same time: e.g. diabetes mellitus is typically accompanied by hypertension (Akushevich, Kravchenko, Ukraintseva, Arbeev, & Yashin, 2013).
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Another problem is that epidemiologic information concerning conditions appearing at an old age is rather contradictory. This does not allow determining risk factors. Moreover, it is typical of such patients to have chronic diseases, which implies that readmission is inevitable and recovering is going to be time-consuming and expensive. As compared to a comparably healthy middle-aged individual, an elderly person spends about $1500-1800 more on health care annually (Akushevich et al., 2013).
The reason for selecting this policy is that Florida is among the states that have the biggest number of elderly residents, which makes the issue of elderly care one of the most pressing problems of the state. There are plenty of problems that can be solved only through policy-making. The most relevant one is that senior patients are often denied medical aid during social works as it is required to “stretch” their funds until the end of their lives.
Description of the Policy
The proposed policy is aimed to assist non-profit social agencies in their attempts to help senior citizens. Since there are strict limitations of funding, most of governmental programs and campaigns are narrowed to a rather small target group, consisting of people who are on the verge of poverty. However, there are many more elderly people who suffer from a lack of healthy nutrition and access to health care services (Lee & Chou, 2015). Even those seniors who managed to save some money for their future cannot deal without the government as their savings are typically spent during the first year.
For the enumerated reasons, the suggested policy will try to eliminate the problem using several methods simultaneously. First, elderly people should be put in a separate risk category. Risk evaluation and assessment guidelines are to be elaborated for agencies to take into account each case. Moreover, it is important for the program to identify psychological deviations to be addressed (Navicke, Rastrigina, & Sutherland, 2013). For instance, personal habits, numbers, factors, addressers, and health conditions may hinder the success of the policy.
Legislators Involved in the Policy Development and Dissemination
It is important to remember that no matter how successful a change might be, it would be wrong to address federal or state authorities before local legislators approve the proposed measures (Lingard, Martino, & Rezai-Rashti, 2013). Operating at the local level will make it possible to check the results of the innovation on a smaller scale. If the policy is successful, the local legislators will realize what benefits it can bring about, which will make it easier to address higher legislators.
The legislator who is supposed to be contacted first is Janice Kerekes, Clay County Board Member Representative since she is the one who is most interested in health care policies.
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The Role of the APRN
The activity of APRN cannot be overestimated since the success of the proposed measures largely depends on it. The point is that each local nurse has a unique insight into every elderly patient’s condition and can outline the key problems common for all senior citizens of the region. Thus, the key role of the APRN is to establish effective communication with legislators to make them understand that transformations of current practices will affect real people with real problems. Nurses should be able to provide adequate help and support to one another and modify policy changes through collaboration with legislators.
Influence on Clinical Practice
If the outlined goals are achieved, clinical practice is supposed to become more efficient. The access of elderly people to health care will be considerably increased, which implied that their morbidity and mortality rates are to decrease. Since the problem of poverty will be eliminated, it will be easier to prevent hospitalization and disease aggravation. For nurses, in particular, it would imply more positive outcomes and fewer people in the ICUs.
It is next to impossible to translate policy into practice without specialists from other fields. They include policymakers, social workers, accountants, and others. For instance, it is important to have financial reports about elderly people living in the region to identify their needs. Moreover, their living conditions must be analyzed to decide upon policy priorities. Finally, all health care specialists are accountable for conducting health examination and providing due treatment.
Since the number of senior citizens in on the rise, elderly care has already become one of the primary issues of concern in a number of states. Unfortunately, there is not enough assistance to people who can no longer provide for themselves. New programs and policies are needed to be introduced locally to attract the attention of the state authorities. Health care and social organizations have to unite their efforts to make transformations possible.
Akushevich, I., Kravchenko, J., Ukraintseva, S., Arbeev, K., & Yashin, A. I. (2013). Time trends of incidence of age-associated diseases in the US elderly population: Medicare-based analysis. Age and Ageing, 42(4), 494-500.
Lee, S., & Chou, K. (2015). Trends in elderly poverty in Hong Kong: A decomposition analysis. Social Indicators Research, 129(2), 551-564.
Lingard, B., Martino, W., & Rezai-Rashti, G. (2013). Testing regimes, accountabilities and education policy: Commensurate global and national developments. Journal of Education Policy, 28(5), 539-556.
Navicke, J., Rastrigina, O., & Sutherland, H. (2013). Nowcasting indicators of poverty risk in the European Union: A microsimulation approach. Social Indicators Research, 119(1), 101-119.