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A crucial component of public health is healthy aging, and it is crucial to take into account the social determinants of health that have an impact on older persons who are poor. Social determinants of health are “the circumstances under which people are born, develop, work, live, and age,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Particularly for individuals who live in poverty, these factors can have a major negative impact on an older adult’s health and well-being (Coughlin, 2021).

The harmful impact of poverty on the social determinants of health for older adults is a complex and multifaceted issue. Economic constraints, social exclusion, and environmental deprivation are all factors that can lead to inadequate healthcare access, insufficient nutrition, substandard housing, and limited social support for older adults living in poverty (Singu et al., 2020). Moreover, the mental health implications of poverty, including the chronic stress and anxiety accompanying financial insecurity, can further exacerbate the negative health outcomes experienced by older adults in impoverished circumstances. As a result, taking into account the intricate interplay between economic, social, and environmental factors leading to health disparities, it is necessary to take a multidimensional strategy when addressing the social determinants of health linked with poverty among older persons.

Access to healthcare is one of the main effects of poverty on older persons. It is challenging for many elderly people living in poverty to manage chronic ailments, receive preventative care, and access treatments for acute illnesses because they lack health insurance or inexpensive access to healthcare. This may result in worse health outcomes, higher hospitalization rates, and more medical expenses (Coughlin, 2021). Additionally, a lack of access to nourishing food, secure shelter, and other basic necessities can exacerbate existing health issues and lead to chronic disease.

In addition, social isolation and a lack of social support are frequent problems for elderly people who live in poverty. As a result, a person’s mental and physical health may be further impacted by feelings of isolation, melancholy, and anxiety. Inadequate access to information and resources, such as details about health services and disease prevention, can result from social isolation and worsen health disparities among older people living in poverty.

Poverty can also impact an older adult’s physical environment. Older adults living in poverty may reside in substandard housing or neighborhoods with limited access to safe recreational spaces, transportation, and other essential services. These environmental factors can negatively impact an individual’s physical health and contribute to health disparities among impoverished older adults (Singu et al., 2020).

In conclusion, social determinants of health are important factors that have a significant impact on older adults’ health and well-being. Poverty is a major social determinant of health that can negatively affect a person’s access to healthcare, nutrition, housing, and social support as well as cause social isolation, poor mental health, and limited access to information and resources. Policymakers, healthcare providers, and community organizations must work together to develop strategies to address poverty and its impact on older adults, focusing on promoting access to healthcare, social support, and essential services.

References

Coughlin, S. S. (2021). Social determinants of health and cancer survivorship. Journal of environment and health sciences, 7(1), 11.

Singu, S., Acharya, A., Challagundla, K., & Byrareddy, S. N. (2020). Impact of social determinants of health on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Frontiers in public health, 8, 406.

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