Essay Example on Practicum: Health Disparities

Published: 2023-07-12
Essay Example on Practicum: Health Disparities
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Population Community health Social issue
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 655 words
6 min read

The older population faces numerous challenges, especially in regard to healthcare. As a vulnerable group, they are susceptible to various health challenges because of their age. Senior citizens reduced locomotor skills create a health disparity concerning access to healthcare services. The needs assessment has identified access to transportation as one of the primary health needs of the elderly. Senior citizens may require insurance just to be transported to the doctor's office. Such challenges make it difficult for the elderly to access healthcare. Senior citizens are also the section of the population that is in most need of healthcare assistance, and that makes them the most affected group, whenever there is a lack of transportation services, or if the transportation services are inefficient. This essay analyzes the impacts of the lack of access to transport on the healthcare needs of the elderly population and offers recommendations on possible solutions.

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Lack of access to transport may discourage the elderly from seeking healthcare treatment. Despite the robust transport system in the state of Tennessee, many older adults have reported the need for a personalized door-to-door transport system that is affordable, dependable, accessible, and safe (Shulman, n.d). The elderly population has various healthcare concerns that create the potential for healthcare emergencies. Sometimes the senior citizen may need specific pharmaceutical supplies that may require their presence at the pharmacy store. While Tennessee State Government might have provided transportation options for the elders, they haven't directly addressed one of the problems identified by the assessment data for the At-risk group. The need for insurance coverage further complicates their transportation as not all senior citizens have access to med ex and other insurance programs that offer such coverage.

Specific measures can be implemented to address the problem of transport for the elderly. One is that the government and other stakeholders can find a way to improve home-based care for the elderly. Home-based care is a concept that is already present in some communities. However, its penetration is limited to affluent and upper-middle-class neighborhoods. Those from low backgrounds and poor areas have to contend with the transportation inefficiencies that are available. The research by Leff et al. (2015), indicates that home-based care has cost and quality advantages. Elderly adults are the costliest patients when it comes to healthcare. The reason being most of these patients have numerous health complications that range from functional, medical, and functional elements. These elements may combine and result in an inability to obtain the usual ambulatory care. In such scenarios, some patients may have to depend on emergency medical services that cause them to receive fragmented care in the various parts of the healthcare delivery system, with the highest cost (Leff et al. 2015).

The same research also indicates that there are quality concerns in home-based care that forces older adults to commute to health institutions in the hopes of getting a better quality of care (Leff et al. 2015). According to Leff et al. (2015), home-based care lacks the quality of care framework or nationally recognized and widely used quality measures despite its increased use in medical care. The payers have insufficient knowledge concerning the unique care needs of the population that could have benefited from home-based care. They also have inadequate data to judge the quality of care provided by the practice. Therefore, the quality of home-based care can be improved by increasing the availability of knowledge on the care needs of the elderly and the kind of care provided by the practice. Such will enhance the quality of home-based care and remove the need for older adults to always commute to healthcare facilities in search of health needs that would have otherwise been accomplished at home.


Leff, B., Carlson, C. M., Saliba, D., & Ritchie, C. (2015). The invisible homebound: setting quality-of-care standards for home-based primary and palliative care. Health Affairs, 34(1), 21-29.

Shulman, J. (n.d). Transportation assistance. Commission on Aging and Disability.

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