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Health and Social Care Essay

In this essay I am going to talk the patterns and trends of health and ill health among different social groupings. I will talk about each pattern and trend in its own paragraph, Social class, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Geographical location. I will talk about the links between these to health issues. I will back these up through the use of evidence such as statistics. I will then conclude what I have found out. Firstly I will talk about each pattern and trend. Social Class

Social class helps to deter the reasons for individual’s health and ill health. Social classes also help with understanding health and ill health, this is done through the basis of individuals lifestyle class, for example the lower class who work in the worst conditions and have the lower ranked jobs are seen to have the poorer health. Were as the higher class are them which work in jobs that mean they work higher into the society such as office work. Meaning they’re less likely to contract or suffer with an illness or such like because their environment is completely different. Another thing which means individuals is more likely to have better health care, due to their higher position in society and better paid jobs. Yet as society has developed further more, The Equality Act 2010, now covers individuals to receive fair payments no matter your class ranking or your gender. [NVLE]

Social class determines a lot of health and ill health trends across the world. There is overwhelming evidence that this is the case and that life expectancy is due to this rating system of social classes. Members of higher social classes are living longer and experiencing better healthcare than members of the lower social classes. For example if someone of lower class comes it a health care profession with an issue but is drunk they’re treat noticeably different to the higher class people who need medical help. Research in the past such as the black report has shown that differences in health and well-being were an effect of the level of peoples income, as well as the quality of their housing and the environment which they lived and worked in. [Stretch and Whitehouse 2010]

As you can see here, that social class plays a large part in the whole families health as well. It also shows us that the individuals who are in the higher social class, the ones with the high income, have a better chance when the individual comes to being treated and have a better chance because of the factors of their housing, income and the wider range of opportunities available with that amount of money readily available to them. This demonstrates the huge difference based around their background, jobs and life compared to an individual who has a much less income and is in the bottom of the class rankings. There are several different influence which can cause this to happen for the individuals, a lot of chances can be taken away from the individual as a result of the social class system, as this demonstrates it can be very unfair to certain individuals. [change In the social world]

Gender plays a larger role in individuals health. This plays a large part on the individuals choices and opinions which take place, this is because of the rights which men hold compared to the ones which women held. This plays a big part in the individual based around their work and past experiences, for example women pay for attention about their health because they seek more medical help about things compared to men, this is because of their background such as working history and women have more attention towards their health care. This means that women gain the necessary treatment at a more beneficial time based around their illness because of their more frequent trips to doctors and medical professions, who diagnose them with an illness or issue which enables them to receive the adequate care. Were as men don’t tend to visit the doctor as regularly, meaning they don’t gain the same treatment and often die at younger age. This is called Disease prevalence. From here the main thing which medical professions tend to diagnose women with is depression.

Gender also determines how the individuals treatment is seen and how their illness is advanced, this means that most of the time men’s treatment is more intense because they leave the issue to progress compared to women. Another thing is that women tend to live longer than men and this is proven by statistical graphs, these show that women live a longer life then men.

The reasons for this are based around women and men, these show different variation in lifestyles and job workings etc. This graph shows the life expectancy over several years has increased, but it has shown that the male gender has still increasing at a lower level then female gender. [AIHW]

There are many other issues associated with gender, these are associated around the lifestyle factors and habits such as smoking. There is a higher death rate based around males which can be linked with their higher levels of smoking and drinking. This is also based around the individuals participating in dangerous sports and activities. This Is based around their need for more adventure and risk taking, this can also be linked with road accidents. Meaning a higher death rate for males between 17 and 24. [Stretch and Whitehouse 2010]

The link between race and illness is difficult to study systematically because there are several different racial types or races throughout the world and travelling has become more available these racial types have expanded. Another thing which means finding patterns and trends based around an individuals racial type has become harder, is the fact that there are now more difficult, because a lot of small ethnical groups live within inner city areas. The connection based around individuals living within cities is poorer housing, pollution and higher employment and deprived areas. This means that its harder to deter whether the individuals poor health is because of the their ethnicity or poverty.

As well as the implications of higher poverty and the lack of access to health services throughout the area of that individual. Another issue based around trying to treat individuals is language and cultural difficulties, these are things which are standing in the way of individuals being able to receive health care or limit the access to certain health care. An issue which also means that individuals struggle around the basis of health care, such as religious and cultural matters, this is supported by the fact that Asian people, they speak little English and require a female doctor.

Due to the issue of different racial groups and the several different languages and due to everyone having different first languages, then individuals may need different communication techniques such as translators. Due to these being in a short supply then these aren’t often in place. Health and social care workers need to understand individuals cultural and religious belief, this means that people need to be fully met, if not then the individual is being left vulnerable to higher levels of ill health. [Stretch and Whitehouse 2010]

As people age you expect them to suffer a certain amount of difficulties, such as body functions becoming less efficient and them becoming less agile. As time has progressed this has changed, now people over the retirement age are more fit, healthy . these individuals contribute to our society through paid work, voluntary actions/ activities and caring for people throughout their families. This is supported by the 2001 census which revealed that 342,032 people ages 65 and over provided 50 hours or more unpaid care per week.

It also remains true that there is a higher level of illness among the older population and particularly among the people over the age of 75. Throughout a 3 month period in 2003, 24% of people over the age of 75 attended causality or out-patients department of a hospital, compared with 14% of people of all other ages. These statistics are from the General Household Survey 2003.The Alzheimer’s Society in 2007 estimated that one in 20 people over 65 and one in five people over the age of 80 suffered from dementia. [Stretch and Whitehouse 2010] (extend)

Age is something which creates several different patterns, this is based around the fact that as people age they become more prone to extracting an illness or disease or something such as a life long problem. This means that the individuals require more treatment and help. Yet as this treatment and helps is advancing the individuals life expectancy is continually increasing. Yet as you can see in the older generations, that the individuals with longer life expectancy are women, this can reflect back to the factors which are demonstrated in gender, the men go out smoking, drinking and socialising, were as the women tend to stay at home caring for their family and are deprived from those opportunities. This shows that the women tend to be healthier and live longer with less health problems.

There are also regional variations in patterns of health and illness. Throughout different parts of the country mortality and morbidity rates vary and also within towns and cities throughout the UK. The poorer regions and the poorer parts of cities have a higher level of illness. This can be based around the pollution and deprived areas within the cities. This is because of poorer sanitation and poorer facilities throughout the area. This can also be related to groups and people within the area, such as gangs. This can aslo be related to crime within that area, meaning that the safety and the area has become more deprived.

For example, research has identified that there are regional trends in the incidence of lung cancer across the UK. Within England the rates of people with lung cancer are higher than average in the north-west, northern and Yorkshire regions and below average in the south-western, southern and eastern regions. [Stretch and Whitehouse 2010]

Location reflects and accounts for many areas of health and social care which are based around the individual, for example the availability of health care professions for the varying ages. You may have to travel at distance to reach a suitable health care profession, this can be based on the fact that if you live within a small area in a city which is seen as deprived and has high levels of crime, then people may be unprepared to work within the area. Another factor may be based around the community of people within that area, such as ethnicity groups and people who use drugs, alcohol and such like, these may never think about seeking medical help as they’re unaware of their body and if anything is wrong. This is all based around the individual developing trends and patterns of ill health around certain areas because of their needs and problems, poorer living conditions and pollution within that
area. [NVLE]

I conclude form what I have written above, that all of these, Social class, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Geographical location of the individual, plays a large part based around the individuals health. I have found that many lifestyles factors have contributed to the individuals health, yet equal many judgemental factors have also contributed to the individuals health. I found that social class has contributed to the individuals health because of their availability to wider health care and the prices which may have relation to their illness. Were as gender has contributed to the individuals health because of their leisure and more daring activities and lifestyle choices which they consume, as well as their working area. Ethnicity has contributed to the individuals health care based around the fact the individual has moved and is living within a small area which may be deprived, (linking with location) and is unable to communicate and pay for their health care because of the move and change. Age contributes to the individuals health care because of the growing issues related to becoming older and now having to look after younger family members, this has also been contributed to because of their lifestyle when they were in their teens and early adulthood and the choices they made then such as smoking. Location has contributed to health care because of the area in which the individual can afford to live and the events which may happen within that area, such as crime and the poor facilities around. As I have concluded there are many contributions throughout these health and social care patterns and trends, they all have their own individual way of contributing to the individuals care.


[AIHW] 2013. Life expectancy.[Online] Available at < https://www.aihw.gov.au/uploadedImages/Subjects/Deaths/_Content/General_content/life-expectancy-figure-1-SAS.png?n=8696 > [Accessed 10th March 2014]

Health and Social Care Level Btec level 3 book , Beryl Stretch and Mary Whitehouse 2010


[change in the social world]2009. [Online] Available at < http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/4306?e=barkbrief-1.1-ch13_s02# > [Accessed 10th March 2014]

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