Posted: February 5th, 2022

Why are the elderly and disabled considered vulnerable populations and what special considerations are needed when working with these groups?

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****2 DB Replies APA format 250 words each must use bible references also number the student replies as student 1 and student 2 so I know whom reply belong to whom. ****
*****Student 1*****
Why are the elderly and disabled considered vulnerable populations and what special considerations are needed when working with these groups?
According to Kanel, (2018) the “U.S. Census Bureau classifies disabilities according to six limitations: hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care, and independent living”.
These disabilities provide insight on what is considered a disability which assists in understanding why Elderly and disabled people are considered vulnerable populations due to their level of care needed, the specific care they may need due to their age or disability.
When working with these populations special considerations should start with the understanding the limitations on functioning of these individuals and what interventions/ level of treatment is needed to properly care for them. It is also “history, society has frequently greeted disabled people with stigma, prejudice, mistreatment, discrimination, social isolation, inferior status, and inferior services” (Kanal, 2018).
2. Identify key elements of coping with dying as described in our course materials. Do these concepts dovetail with Scripture? Why or why not?
Coping with a dying loved one is never an easy thing to do no matter how prepared an individual make think they are. According to Corr et al., the following are the key elements of coping with dying are:
focusing on processesof coping.
directing attention to effortsthat are central to coping.
underlining attempts to manage or adapt toa situation.
linking coping to efforts addressing specific demands.
referring to efforts undertaken in response to demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person.
taking care not to confuse coping processes with their outcomes.
Corr et al., (2018) also provides us with extended our understanding of coping by grouping coping skills into three separate categories of appraisal-focused coping, problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping.
In regard to these concepts coinciding with Scripture I believe that they can for example: John 16:22 “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. If the person is a Christian this can been viewed as a coping strategy in knowing and believing God’s word as a coping strategy.
3. What are the four dimensions of caring for the dying? Give an example of how these dimensions might emerge using a case example (media example or made-up).
Cognitive or intellectual – Example- Understanding how COVID is affecting older populations, research that needs to be done and the ability to understand why older populations are majorly impacted.
Affective- Example- The emotional toll that the pandemic has had on older people and their families.
Behavioral- Example- Social distancing, mask wearing and fear of going out into public to avoid getting sick.
Valuational- Example- The value on life as whole and understanding death is part of living.
4. What are the advantages and limitations of being cared for by a long-term care facility, home healthcare program, hospice, versus a hospital as far as mental health support?
The advantages and limitations of care a person seeks begins with the personal beliefs of the individual starting with what they believe spiritually and medically.
Hospitals can provide acute care which is an advantage for those needing emergency care or a particular type of physician that may work at the hospital. The limitations could range from the level of care the hospital can provide and staffing education on mental health. According to Corr et al., (2018) Another limitation of hospital care could be affordability.
According to Corr et al., (2018) Long term facilities/ nursing home have shown that life expectancy has increased, many Americans no longer expected to work until just days or hours before death. The limitations consist of level of education and experience that staff have regarding mental health.
Hospice is a hard choice in itself of knowing that the individual/ family is preparing for that person to pass. The advantages of hospice as that the individual could be in the comfort of their own home and be truly comfortable and could be affordable. The limitation of hospice is the level of care that can be provided ot the individual sine they are in their home.
Corr, C.A., Corr, D.M. & Doka, K.J. (2019). Death & Dying, Life & Living (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 9781337563895.
Kanel, K. (2018). A Guide to Crisis Intervention (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 9781337566414.
*****Student 2 ******
The elderly and disabled are considered vulnerable populations for many reasons. One example of a vulnerability in our textbook reading this week is due to the fact they don’t receive the same amount of healthcare as a younger person may (Corr et al., 2019). This is due to the fact they are either 1) incapable of expressing the need for further medical attention 2) they aren’t fully competent or 3) at the stage of life where they aren’t willing to take extraordinary measures.
For older adults, some key elements of coping with dying as described in our course materials include needing to feel like they have the choice of end-of-life decisions, being reassured they are still important and significant, feeling a sense of self-worth, and having adequate access to healthcare (Corr et al., 2019). While Scripture may not discuss in specifics the necessity of having adequate medical access, it does share the importance of understanding our physical bodies will perish, but our spirits are eternal (New International Version Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:50-57). Although I don’t know the exact bible verse, I do remember growing up in the church and my parents stressing the importance of caring for, and respecting, the elderly. I know those directions from them were biblically based and an expectation from God.
The four dimensions of caring for the dying include physical, psychological, spiritual, and social. The physical dimension consists of taking care of the physical body and the needs of keeping oneself healthy and comfortable while the psychological dimension is focused primarily on maintaining autonomy and feeling encouraged by oneself. The next dimension is spiritual in which the individual finds comfort and support in spiritual beliefs and draws hope from them. Lastly, we have the social dimension which is constructed and strengthened through meaningful relationships.
While a hospital has qualified mental health professionals available to speak with individuals as well as social workers, individuals don’t receive the same care and social/personal relationship as they would if they were in a long-term care facility, home healthcare program, or even hospice. When looking at the pros and cons of each, hospice has many “pros” because the individual is often in an environment, they are already familiar and comfortable with and can be surrounded by people who love and care for them. The healthcare provided, although not as good as being impatient, is quite good for being home. In a long-term care facility, individuals can expect to be around others going through similar life experiences and have the social dynamic that they may not have in a hospice or hospital setting.
Navigating end-of-life and dying is a challenging road that vulnerable populations shouldn’t have to face alone. Understanding how we can help them as a community is what we’re called to do not only as crisis care but as Christians as well.
Corr, C.A., Corr, D.M. & Doka, K.J. (2019). Death & Dying, Life & Living (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 9781337563895.
New International Version. (2011).

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