Older adults from different lower-socioeconomic status, lesser educational attainment, and lower occupational position face greater health disparities. Although health disparities are not indicative to older adults, it is imperative that this gap is addressed especially since the older adult population is expanding as a percentage of the world’s people overall, while the younger populations are contracting. Supporting literature suggests, it is urgent that policymakers, health professionals, and other stakeholders create an infrastructure that will allow this growing population to function successfully and continue to be a contributing member of society. This article will address: health disparities faced by diverse older adults, adaptive and maladaptive coping responses that older adults experience; cultural competency research and resources that should be promoted in healthcare settings; and policy recommendations that are aimed to promote and protect vulnerable older adults. Finally, this article will provide recommendations that policymakers can consider taking to address the health disparities that are inevitable if alterations to current social inequities are not attempted.
|Keywords:||Older Adults, Health Disparities, Diversity, Cultural Competency, Health Equity|
Graduate Student, Health and Behavior Studies, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work & Gerontology, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA