A health crisis can occur at any phase in an individual’s life span. General health concerns, however, tend to increase with age. As a social worker, your awareness of the biological aspects of middle adulthood will inform your work with clients in this life-span phase.In this Assignment, you address the health concerns that clients may face as they reach middle adulthood. You also address the potential impact of the environment on the health of individuals in this life-span phase.
Submit a 2- to 4-page paper that includes the following:
- A description of the health concerns that clients may face as they reach middle adulthood
- An analysis that explains how factors such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other demographic characteristics might impact at least three of the health concerns you identified
- An explanation of how you, as a social worker, should take these potential health concerns and the environmental factors that influence them into account as you complete your assessments
Middle adulthood is the life stage between young adulthood and old age, around 40 to 65 years old. As people age, they experience many body changes that may affect them emotionally and physically (Zheng 256). Many of adults in middle age experience diverse health concerns. Therefore, they must be careful in addressing those health concerns proactively before they severely impact on their health. The most common health concerns experienced by middle aged adults include arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, genitourinary problems, coronary heart disease, bronchitis ,asthma, vision problems and hearing loss. They are also likely to demonstrate physical health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression (Zheng 258).
Factors Impacting on the Health Concerns
Type 2 diabetes is one of the common health conditions affecting individuals in middle age. It is reported that the condition affects approximately 10.9 million males and 9.7 females in the United States, among middle aged adults. Analysis of the condition by ethnic or racial groups shows that Hispanics and African Americans in the U.S have the highest risk of mortality and complications associated with the disease (Gonzalez-Zacarias, et al. 195). Gender analysis showed that females were less likely to receive medical support and demonstrated low levels of self-management hence they had less control over their glycemic levels. The income and education levels among the immigrants with diabetes may play a role in the way they understand and manage their health. The high cost of diabetes medication limits proper management of the disease to some extent (Gonzalez-Zacarias, et al. 195).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is another common health problem that affects people in middle-age. Analysis by race and ethnicity shows that Hispanic adults have reported the most cases of physician-diagnosed arthritis in the U.S, followed by non-Hispanic whites in prevalence and the least number or arthritis cases are reported by non- Hispanic Asians. Middle-aged women are more likely to suffer from arthritis compared to men. This includes rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and fibromyalgia. People with low socioeconomic status may delay seeking medical attention due to financial limitation for individuals who lack insurance coverage (CDC).
Cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are ranked as the leading causes of mortality among middle aged adults. This is associated with lifestyle among other factors. Obesity and limited physical activity among the individuals increase their chances of suffering from the disease. African Americans are reported to have a higher mortality rate associated with ischemic heart disease compared to the Whites. Sudden cardiac and myocardial infarction deaths are reported to be high among low-income individuals who have a history of alcohol consumption and smoking (Bertoni, et al 2622).
Considering the unprecedented changes in demographics, diverse challenges and barriers associated with midlife and ageing, it is necessary for social workers who work with this population to focus on health promotion activities (Rizzo and Jessica 2). This can be achieved by engaging in advocacy activities that focus on educating the population on the importance of healthy living, characterized by regular physical activity, eating a balanced diet , cigarette and alcohol-free and regular health check-ups. Some of the environmental factors that may impact on the population’s health include the neighborhood’s physical features such as recreational spaces, presence of side – walks, access to transportation, availability of healthy and fresh foods and access to health care facilities (Rizzo and Jessica 7).
The middle-aged population is vulnerable to various health conditions as the body ages and undergoes physical and emotional changes. Social workers have a significant role to play by engaging in health promotion to prevent the middle-aged adults from suffering from the diseases and also help in managing those who already have the health problems.
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