Wellbeing is a state in which an individual’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual needs are met and a balance between family, work, leisure and community is achieved.
It is important for the aged to be able to access resources so that they can meet their needs and hence achieve wellbeing.
However there are factors that affect their access to resources which include disability, education, ethnicity/culture, gender, location, and socio economic status
Age is an influential factor in accessing resources from the government and from non government sources. A person’s age is used to determine their entitlements to financial assistance such as the aged pension which helps to satisfy their financial need and therefore will be able to buy clothes, food etc which will help meet their physical needs.
An elderly person who is also disabled is entitled to special care and assistance. Being disabled may mean an individual is limited in their ability to access certain resources. If an elderly person’s disability was blindness they may be reliant on their family or special carers for support. Being reliant may affect their sense of identity which means their emotional need isn’t being met.
An elderly person who is uneducated may not know about financial supports and other supports in the community which they may be entitled to. They might not know about the pension card which entitles them to a variety of discounted goods and services. This card helps the elderly in many ways including financially, and without this financial support their physical needs may not be met, for example, not having enough money for certain medical treatments.
Ethnicity and culture can be associated with problems in accessing resources. Those from other cultures such as Aboriginals may have difficulties in accessing resources because of language or cultural barriers. An elderly Chinese lady with little English, for example, may be unable to communicate with other English speakers and this would affect her need for socialisation.
Gender can affect access to resources in the elderly. An elderly man living with his wife may rely on his wife for everything, such as cooking, caring, and shopping. If this wife dies the man will probably have no idea on how to look after himself because he has been relying on his wife for such a long time and have trouble accessing resources as he might not be aware of them or might not know how to access them. Not knowing how to access services such as meals on wheels, and home caring could affect the man’s health which means his physical need isn’t being met.
Location affects the ability of the aged to access resources. An elderly person living in a rural area may not be able to access such things as specialist doctors or medical procedures in there are and so therefore would have to travel somewhere else which costs them money which they may not have and so choose not to travel. Because of this their physical need for health will be affected.
The socioeconomic status of an elderly person affects their access to resources. For example, an elderly person who has a high socio economic status would be able to afford private health care and therefore get the most qualified doctors, doctors of their choice and not have to wait years on waiting lists. This would satisfy this person’s physical need and so they are on their way to reaching wellbeing.
Individuals may be affected by a number of factors which only complicates and increases their needs and makes it harder to access resources. For example an elderly Aboriginal man, living in a remote area suffering from diabetes may need special medications or doctors to help treat and monitor his diabetes. These medications and doctors may not be available in his area and so he would have to travel away from his town to get treatment. Considering Aboriginal people have a low socio economic status then he may not have the money to do this and so his diabetes may go wrongly treated or not treated at all and so his physical needs won’t be met.
A blind elderly lady who has low education and a low socio economic status may not be aware of services available to help her, for example home modifications and government support. Even if she was aware of these services she may not be able to access them physically because she is blind or she might not be able to afford some services which aren’t government funded. Her home may not be properly suited for a blind elderly person and so her need for safety wouldn’t be met.
Courtney from Study Moose
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