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Health Intervention To Improve the Health of the Elderly


The target population for this health intervention is the elderly. Persons who are 65 years old and above are considered to be elderly. People who are old and sick need a lot of integrated and coordinated care due to increased vulnerability to chronic diseases and disabilities. Some older people live in their homes alone with no one to take care of them. Most of them have little or no economic capacity to care for their health needs since they are unemployed and the retirement and pension money is too little. Intervention programs for frail elderly people must be created and employed to cut the number of times they go to the hospital, improve their satisfaction with health and social care, and keep their independence abilities even in old age. This paper discusses the baseline characteristics of the elderly, significant health problems that affect them, determinants of their health, past research on intervention programs put in place to take care of the health needs of the elderly and their results, and my intervention plan to improve the health of the elderly.

Significant Health Problems

Elderly people are vulnerable to health problems due to body frailty caused by complications and reduced body immunity that come with old age. Aging causes inevitable physical and psychological changes (Rana et al., 2009). Most elderly people suffer from health conditions such as arthritis. Sadeghiyan et al. (2011)’s research in the Shahroud Township found out that Elderly problems were 44.7% sleep, 23% hearing, 62% vision, 45.2% of the foot, 21.7% constipation, 45.3% impairment of memory, 14.8% of the urinary tract, 90.8% stress, and 43% dental problems. There are significant relationships between joint pains, sleep disorders, and gender. There are also strong relationships between the living area of the elderly patient and visual impairment. Generally, the main health problems among the elderly are dental, vision, foot, and memory.

Determinants of Health

Old people’s health is determined by their socioeconomic status, housing, social support, and the strength of their bodies’ immunity. According to Laura Ann Clark MS (2017), advancement in age cannot be changed. It increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), which makes the elderly more vulnerable to health problems. Older people who have low socioeconomic status, poor housing, no social support, and no social networks are more likely to have poor health outcomes. Healthcare access and utilization for the elderly can be difficult because of factors like insurance coverage and transportation issues and factors like facility types and quality, primary and specialized care, the responsiveness of doctors, and medical debt (Laura Ann Clark MS, 2017). Medicare and Medicaid Services and out-of-pocket costs for the elderly, physical activity, and inactivity determine the health of an elderly person. Elderly people who have access to Medicare and Medicaid services have better access to health services and, hence, better health than those who are fully dependent on their income to get health care. On the other hand, physically active elderly people have chance of better health than those who are physically inactive.

Past Research

Researchers in the past have suggested ways such as regular physical activity and maintenance of dietary habits to improve the health of the elderly. The interventions are meant to reduce the burden of the illness, make the functional decline slower, improve the independence of the elderly, and improve the quality of life. Rana et al. (2009) posit that education programs that provide knowledge and options for taking care of the elderly contribute massively to promoting their health care. Intervention programs further help make sure that both the needs of older people who need information, care, and rehabilitation and the needs of informal caregivers who need support and information are known early on (Wilhelmson et al., 2011). Education programs interventions are expected to show that frail elderly people will use more health care, be more functional, and be more satisfied with their health and social care.

Rana et al. (2009) have, in the past, suggested public health interventions such as health education which have been effective in addressing the health of the elderly. They suggested that providing community-based health education intervention effectively improves the health-related quality of life among elderly persons aged 60 years and above. In their intervention among 1135 elderly people in rural Bangladesh, they incorporated educational activities on physical activity, guidance on healthy foods, and managing the lives of the elderly. To make the intervention successful, they created social awareness by explaining the factors that lead to poor health among the elderly and the challenges faced by the elderly at their homes and in the community. For 15 months, they provided education to the elderly, the caregivers, family members, and the general community population in the rural area. From the multivariate analyses, they found out that the persons who consistently adhered to the activities had more enhanced health-related quality of life than the control group. They found out that the participants had improved physical and mental health and reduced bodily pain compared to the control group.

Interdisciplinary intervention programs have also been used on elderly patients with existing health problems. For instance, Shyu et al. (2015) conducted an interdisciplinary intervention involving geriatric consultation, continuous rehabilitation, and discharge planning for elderly people who had hip fractures in Taiwan. The program was measured based on the demographic and outcome variables such as service utilization, the outcomes of the clinical, the patients’ abilities to take care of themselves, health-related quality of life outcomes, and symptoms of depression. The results showed that the elderly patients who participated in the intervention had improved health outcomes compared to those in the control group. For instance, the probability of recovery of walking ability at month for the participants was 0.004 more than others, and it reduced bodily pain at 0.03 and improved mental health at 0.02 (Shyu et al., 2015).

My Intervention

To improve the health of the elderly, I suggest that the public health system encourage strong supporting environments for the elderly, especially those who depend on their families, friends, and organizations for care and companionship. According to Rana et al. (2009), the elderly have little or no economic income, especially from poor families. It makes it hard for them to access essential health care needs. Issues such as economic insecurity and inadequate health care services from formal sectors make the elderly vulnerable to old age health risks (Rana et al., 2009). By having a strong support system for taking care

This intervention will purpose to support the persons, organizations, and systems that take care of the elderly so that they can better take care of the elderly. Sadeghiyan et al. (2011) purport that supporting the elderly and their families by providing primary health care networks, creating health awareness, and training them on life skills has an effective role in improving the health status of the elderly. The intervention will also ensure that the elderly receive the health care they deserve whenever they need it.

The goals of the intervention are to intensify and reinforce the abilities of the caregivers, families, and health systems that take care of the old so that they can effectively take care of the elderly. The goal is to ensure that every available resource required to provide efficient care for the elderly is readily available when needed. For instance, the government can increase the funding dedicated to the elderly homes to ensure that they are not neglected for financial deficiency reasons. The goal is also to ensure that there are enough caregivers and other professional resource persons to cater to the physical and psychological needs of the elderly. It is also to ensure that the elderly receive quality health care services both in health care institutions and at their homes.

To implement the intervention, the local governments should liaise with the national/federal governments to ensure sufficient funds to take care of the elderly. They can make policies to ensure that the elderly receive subsidized health services. By so doing, health care and health services for the elderly will be affordable for every individual regardless of their meager financial income. More so, the government and non-government organizations can provide funding to the family members of the elderly so that they can afford healthy foods and maintain healthy exercises for the elderly. Funding should also be intensified in the health care systems to ensure that they have all the necessary items to service the elderly. For instance, there should be enough caregivers to take care of all the elderly patients and counsel them, enough medicines to cater to every elderly individual who has health care issues, and there should be readily available resources that prioritize the health needs of the elderly. Ideally, every support system for the elderly requires enough financial resources. Therefore, by ensuring the availability of sufficient funds, there is guaranteed quality care of the elderly sick and better chances of prevention of illnesses before occurrence and prevalence.


Laura Ann Clark MS, A. R. (2017). Health Disparities and Social determinants of health among the elderly. Journal of Cultural Diversity24(4), 118-125.

Rana, A. M., Wahlin, Å., Lundborg, C. S., & Kabir, Z. N. (2009). Impact of health education on health-related quality of life among elderly persons: results from a community-based intervention study in rural Bangladesh. Health promotion international24(1), 36-45.

Sadeghiyan, F., Raei, M., Hashemi, M., Amiri, M., & Chaman, R. (2011). Elderly and health problems: A cross-sectional study in the Shahroud township. Iranian Journal of Ageing6(2), 0-0.

Shyu, Y. I. L., Liang, J., Wu, C. C., Su, J. Y., Cheng, H. S., Chou, S. W., & Yang, C. T. (2005). A pilot investigation of the short‐term effects of an interdisciplinary intervention program on elderly patients with hip fracture in Taiwan. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society53(5), 811-818.

Wilhelmson, K., Duner, A., Eklund, K., Gosman-Hedström, G., Blomberg, S., Hasson, H., … & Dahlin-Ivanoff, S. (2011). Design a randomized controlled study of a multi-professional and multidimensional intervention targeting frail elderly people. BMC geriatrics11(1), 1-10.


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