The obesity epidemic is even more pronounced in rural America, and is a growing concern as rural adults and children are now more likely to be obese than urban adults and children. People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for chronic disease and conditions such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancers. For women, obesity also is associated with complications of pregnancy, menstrual irregularities, hirsutism, and psychological disorders such as depression. Stress has been linked to obesity in adults and in children, and rural residents are continually subject to the stresses of poverty, limited access to health care, and geographical and social isolation. In rural communities, community organizations and families need to come together to identify common goals related to obesity prevention and identify and mobilize human and community assets to implement strategies they believe will work for their community.
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This chapter focuses on the following topics: demography, gender, age at diagnosis/onset of cardiovascular disease (CVD), Medicare usage, work and retirement, social support, social context and neighborhoods, ethnography of families, qualitative research, and social policy. These topics constitute some of the key areas that should be the focus of future research on the sociology of minority aging. The chapter provides a rich description of trends in the ethnic and racial composition of older cohorts to illustrate the dramatic changes that have taken place in the United States in the past century. The rising costs of health care and the increasing older minority population, additional reform will be needed to maintain the sus-tainability of the program. Additional work examining within-race group differences is key to understanding minority aging issues given the large amount of cultural diversity in the United States.
- Go to chapter: New Paradigms for Inclusive Health Care: Toward Individual Patient and Population Health
This chapter presents new paradigms for inclusive health care, articulating the need for both individual patient and population health approaches, while highlighting the role of home-based interactive computer technology in having a wide impact. It describes the high costs of health and mental health behaviors. The chapter explains science’s and health care practices low impact on health and mental health behaviors. It describes higher impact paradigms that can complement current paradigms of research and practice. Integrated health care paradigm is an innovative approach to population health, which would integrate services across biological and behavioral disciplines. The chapter discusses in detail clinician and computer paradigms, clinician and computer-based clinical trials, from single to multiple behavior change paradigms, high specificity vs. high generality, and higher impact science and service.
This chapter focuses on aging and health issues in all of America’s major minority populations including African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, as well as Native Americans. It addresses the issues of health inequality and health advantage/disadvantage. The chapter introduces relatively new areas of inquiry including long-term care, genetics, nutrition, health interventions, and health policy issues. In addition to possible genetic factors, the literature has emphasized the influence of poverty and socioeconomic status as well as stressors associated with minority group status. The system of long-term care services will need to be restructured to take into account issues affecting minority populations such as health care coverage, housing and income supports, as well as cultural issues as filial piety and trust. The field of minorities, aging, and health has been dominated by a health inequality perspective that has been illustrated by the application of cumulative disadvantage/cumulative inequality theory.
This chapter introduces the scope of this volume by reviewing thirteen guiding principles for a new field of equity in health. The thirteen guiding principles are: The drive for a major paradigm shift, the drive for new models of health care and training, the drive for new theories, perspectives, and identities, the drive for evidence-based approaches, the drive for transdisciplinary teams and community-based participatory research, the drive for globalization and global collaboration, the drive for cultural competence and cultural appropriateness, the drive for health literacy and linguistic appropriateness, the drive to ensure the right to health, the drive for social justice and acknowledgment of forces in the social context, the drive to protect and support the most vulnerable, the drive to repair damage, restore trust, and take responsibility, and the drive to redistribute wealth and access to opportunity. These principles provide hope for a future global transformation in health.
The idea of protecting the health of rural populations, or rural public health if we will, is not new. In reality, however, most public health principles and practices are developed, applied, and evaluated in urban settings. As the field of public health grew beyond infectious disease concerns to encompass areas such as maternal and child health, chronic diseases, and mental health, the shift from an urban focus to a more inclusive view of all geographic diversities did not follow, however. Two of the most pressing challenges faced by rural residents are poverty and access to basic health services. Many researchers agree that one major complication in examining rural health outcomes is the lack of a consistent, objective measure of rurality. Because rural economies often center on agriculture, a highly volatile market, economic uncertainty is almost a staple in rural communities.
- Go to chapter: Does Health Care Quality Contribute to Disparities? An Examination of Aging and Minority Status Issues in America
Does Health Care Quality Contribute to Disparities? An Examination of Aging and Minority Status Issues in America
This chapter focuses on the changing health care policy climate. These changes can either reduce current barriers or create new challenges to health care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has reformed the Medicare payment system and incorporated the voice of older minority adults in shaping the performance of their local health care delivery system. Health care access inequity and policy-based remedies have historic roots in U.S. civil rights legislation. The civil rights of older adults and their access to health care were resolved through Medicare. ACA policy creates an opportunity to reframe health disparities research as a consumer issue. However, the terms health disparities, older minorities, and barriers to care are not usually viewed as consumer issues. Standardization of health care practice creates research opportunities for social gerontologists to evaluate policy and its impact on health care access disparities.
This book provides a multidisciplinary compendium of research pertaining to aging among diverse racial and ethnic populations in the United States. It focuses on paramount public health, social, behavioral, and biological concerns as they relate to the needs of older minorities. The book is divided into four parts covering psychology, public health/biology, social work, and sociology of minority gang. The book focuses on the needs of four major race and ethnic groups: Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, black/African American, and Native American. It also includes both inter- and intra-race and ethnic group research for insights regarding minority aging. The chapters focus on an array of subject areas that are recognized as being critical to understanding the well-being of minority elders. These include psychology (cognition, stress, mental health, personality, sexuality, religion, neuroscience, discrimination); medicine/nursing/public health (mortality and morbidity, disability, health disparities, long-term care, genetics, nutritional status, health interventions, physical functioning); social work (aging, caregiving, housing, social services, end-of-life care); and sociology (Medicare, socioeconomic status (SES), work and retirement, social networks, context/neighborhood, ethnography, gender, demographics).
This chapter provides a review of public policy and public programs related to important aspects of the welfare state in the United States, with particular attention to the impact of various policies and programs related to income support, health care, and housing on low-income and minority Americans. It focuses on the guiding principles that motivate the various parties in today’s welfare state debates and investigate how the basic structure of the way social welfare is guaranteed in the United States affects low-income and minority individuals. The chapter also focuses on the general features of our economic, political, and social systems that place minority Americans at serious risk of poverty and ill health throughout life, including its waning years. The welfare state represents a relatively late development in human social, economic, and political history. Social Security is particularly important for minority Americans.
- Go to chapter: HIV Prevention and Treatment Issues in Rural America: A Focus on Regional Differences
This chapter describes the unique issues of HIV prevention and treatment in rural areas in the United States. The associated cultural factors can serve as barriers to accessing HIV prevention and treatment services, such as lack of insurance coverage and provider shortages in rural areas. Barriers to receiving health care include provider shortages and inexperience, lack of consistent primary care provider contact despite available Ryan White funds, lack of social support, and stigma. Fear of disclosure, lack of health care and support services, and limited treatment options are barriers to effective prevention and treatment in many rural areas across the country. Rural midwestern communities are characterized by limited access to primary care, self-care education, mental health and family support services, and community educational programs. Online health promotion interventions could be particularly useful for men who have sex with men (MSM) living in rural areas who are at risk for HIV/AIDS.