How Shall We Care for Our Frail Elders?

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 882 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

How Can We Best Care for our Frail Elders?



     The issue of what constitutes “best” care for the elderly is not easily identified nor readily defined. There are widely differing points of view, each with its own strengths and limitations. In addition, arguments are often full of bias and assumptions, making it even more challenging to form an intelligent opinion regarding this difficult problem. Differing points of view provide a variety of evidence, biases, and assumptions to be examined and interpreted before coming to a personal conclusion.
     Alan Sager, an associate professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine, is in favor of a national health insurance policy that guarantees “quality health care for everyone” (Sager, 152). He insists that the government already spends enough to provide health care coverage for every citizen (Sager, 153). He presents a four-part plan with health care for all with no out-of-pocket expenses, financially neutral physicians and health-care professionals, hospitals operating on limited budgets, and freedom for each individual to choose a caregiver (Sager, 157). Sager provides many specific percentages, dollar amounts, and population numbers to supply supporting evidence. However, his attacks on Medicare distract from his proposed plan. (Sager, 155).
     Richard Lamm, former governor of Colorado and current professor at the University of Denver, asks some difficult questions as he challenges the priorities in our current health care system where “we spend too much money on high-technology care for a few and too little on basic health care for the many” (Lamm, 160). He also carefully cites percentages and population figures in his evidence statements. However, Lamm’s biases weaken his argument drastically. He over-uses “hot” adjectives and draws parallels that do not represent evidence but rather pull at the readers’ emotions (‘pain-racked existence,” “spend fantastic amounts,” “small chance of survival,” “over treating our sick and under educating our kids” (Lamm, 159-160).
     The complexities of this situation run deep. There are no simple answers or one-time, one-size-fits-all solutions. There is not one correct answer. Some of the reasons for many of the uncertainties that cause this problem to be so complex are:
1)     Extreme measures are being taken to extend the lifetime of very old people
2)     Sometimes when life is extended the quality of life may be severely reduced
3)     People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia are no longer fully aware of their surroundings
4)     The elderly have already lived for decades
5)     Opinions about the sanctify of life vary widely.
Once an open-ended problem has been identified, the solutions offered must be examined for bias, assumptions, and objections.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"How Shall We Care for Our Frail Elders?." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Oct 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=70309>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about Nursing Care Issues and the Frail Elderly: Dementia - Walking into the room hearing the conversation could not be helped. Two elderly patients were conversing, one was talking about experiences in World War II and the other was listening intently. When questioned as to what they were discussing and why, the answer received was one that surprised and saddened. The patient telling the story explained “Sometimes my friend forgets all about the past, so I sit here and tell my stories and then it helps my friend remember.” The other patient replied “that is right, there are days I just can’t remember anything and my friend here….remembers everything and tells me all about it”....   [tags: Nursing Profession, Nursing Career]
:: 5 Works Cited
1759 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Anton Chekhov’s Misery: To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief? Essay - In Anton Chekhov’s, “’Misery: “To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief?”’, he tells the story of Iona Potapov, a sledge-driver in nineteenth century Russia. The character has lost his son; to an untimely death and he is having a difficult time coping with his lost. He is an elderly, nineteenth century cab driver and his wish is to find someone he can share his terrible grief with, by only sharing his sons’ life. Chekhov portrays the main character as lonely, dazed, confused, and as a man who needs someone to confide in; which all humans want and need during such hardships....   [tags: Misery: To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief?] 886 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Irony in The Lame Shall Enter First Essays - Irony in The Lame Shall Enter First       "[W]hen thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth" counsels the Bible, thus setting the precedent for all well-meaning members of western society concerning their charitable intentions (Matt. 6.3). Humanity's motivation to aid others, regardless of the outcome, is oft times spotted by the subtle struggle between selflessness and selfishness. Flannery O'Connor captures this classic conflict between good and evil in Southern Grotesque fashion through her characters, the protagonist Sheppard and his foil, Rufus Johnson, in [comment2] "The Lame Shall Enter First".[comment3] Challenging the literal paradigm of light...   [tags: Lame Shall Enter First Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
996 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
O'Connor's The Lame Shall Enter First Essay - O'Connor's The Lame Shall Enter First "The Lame Shall Enter First" concentrates on the relationship between Sheppard and, on the one hand, his son Norton, and on the other a boy in a reformatory, Johnson. Sheppard's wife is dead and Norton misses his mother. Sheppard can't understand Norton at all and chooses to spend all of his time helping Johnson, who tells him that Satan has him in his power (150). Sheppard of course does not believe in Satan and tries to rationalise the whole situation. He brings Johnson home and Johnson interferes with Norton's mother's belongings which, of course, greatly upsets Norton....   [tags: Lame Shall Enter First Essays] 465 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Susanna and the Elders - William Holbrook Beard was born in Painesville, Ohio on April 13, 1824 and began his early art career as a traveling portrait painter. He traveled throughout Europe to Germany, Switzerland and Italy with other well known artists and learned all aspects of his craft. After a brief time in Buffalo, New York, he relocated to hone his talents and become a respected portrait painter. He exhibited extensively in the major US cites of Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, Cincinnati, and Boston on a regular basis, but he was most successful with his exhibited works at The National Design Academy in New York, where his most loyal customers demanded his most prized works of art and where he was a member....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]
:: 3 Works Cited
1194 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Three Views of Cultural Characteristics of the Treatment of Elders Essay - ... From a cultural perspective, the African American elderly mostly rely on family reunions, which can be one the most important rituals that would give the elderly the need for survival and endurance towards their African American families. They usually make this happen by maintaining cultural tradition within the uncertain and stormy times. In the African American culture, tradition is the key to avoid collectivism so they can have the capability to survive through the tough days. “It is clear that more and more African Americans are living longer and are in better health....   [tags: sociological analysis]
:: 6 Works Cited
590 words
(1.7 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Depression: A Debilitating Condition in Later Life for Minority Elders - Currently, our aging population is living longer than any other generation due to improved medicine, stronger financial systems, and a larger emphasis on education and healthcare (Angel, 2009). Yet, literature shows that longevity is not a good indicator of successful aging, and we have to consider dimensions of health in cultural groups that are ignored but influence their aging. Consequently, mental health is a dimension that is severely overlooked in ethnic groups and it is critical that we consider positive mental health as a channel to assure successful aging....   [tags: self-perception, social circles]
:: 13 Works Cited
2076 words
(5.9 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on Palliative Care and Care for Older Adults - The age expectancy continues to increase in society. More people are live very far into old age; this is why the number of elderly people continues to rise. Disease patterns are changing continually. Chronic disease is often the cause of death, over those that are caused by acute illness. The population that requires care is becoming much older. High quality care is necessary for end of life. Older people have more complex problems and disabilities (Ebersole, Hess, Touhy, Jett, & Luggen, 2008). The care provided for these older adults require an established partnership between the nurse and the patient....   [tags: Health, Elderly, Medical care]
:: 7 Works Cited
1978 words
(5.7 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Douglas Egerton’s He Shall Go Out Free Essay - Douglas Egerton’s He Shall Go Out Free In a time when revolution swept both Old World and New, it should have been no surprise that eighteenth century Charleston would find revolution fermenting among its slave population. In his book "He Shall Go Out Free", Douglas Egerton describes the life of Denmark Vesey, a freed slave in Charleston, who held a deep and thinly-veiled hatred of slavery and the city’s ruling elite, and was best known for leading a failed attempt at revolt which cost his life....   [tags: Douglas Egerton He Shall Go Out Free Essays] 1208 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Significance of Family Meals in Faulkner’s Barn Burning, Shall Not Perish, and Two Soldiers - The Significance of Family Meals in Faulkner’s Barn Burning, Shall Not Perish, and Two Soldiers The meal, and more specifically the concept of the family meal, has traditional connotations of comfort and togetherness. As shown in three of Faulkner’s short stories in “The Country”, disruptions in the life of the family are often reinforced in the plot of the story by disruptions in the meal. In “Barn Burning”, Abner enters the house at dusk and “could smell the coffee from the room where they would presently eat the cold food remaining from the afternoon meal.” (14) A warm meal would indicate fulfillment and cohesiveness within the family....   [tags: Barn Burning Shall Not Perish Two Soldiers] 441 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




Personal, religious, and political biases infiltrate an author’s choice of evidence to cite and color his or her conclusions. Sager makes his assumptions sound like evidence when he states, “the poor are typically in greater need of care,” and “people in other nations [where free health care is provided] are healthier as a result” (Sager, 153). In addition, he ascribes a motive to Congress to add deductibles and co-payments, claiming it was done “to restrain citizens from using benefits” (Sager, 155).
These statements weaken his argument and detract from his actual evidence. Lamm’s assumptions are also presented as if they are evidence. He states, “In practically every town in America, the best building is the hospital (40 percent empty) and the worst a school (usually overcrowded)” and “we have invented more health care than we can afford to pay for” (Lamm, 160). Notice the terms “practically” and “usually” which are based on assumption rather than evidence. Between the two authors, Sager provides more evidence than Lamm but also has more assumptions and bias. Lamm provides some valid evidence but has full paragraphs containing only assumptions. Both authors are passionate about their position on this issue and provide much food for thought.
     My perspective has drastically evolved from my original solution. I have an emotional reaction to the question of health care for our frail elders because I was so overwhelmingly saddened by the death of my grandmother at 96 and a close friend at 72. However, I cannot accept the absence of pre-natal, infant, and child health care to thousands of U.S. citizens while huge amounts of money are spent on “heroic” efforts to prolong the life of any elderly person who is “too far gone” to regain any significant quality of life. My suggestion would be free basic health care for all paid for by taxes. Doctors and health care providers would have salaries based on time and training rather than the amount of care prescribed for the patients. Older citizens would be encouraged (as they are now) to write out an Advanced Directive, and this would eliminate a great deal of the extended, expensive care. At this time, I would say that borderline cases should be decided on an individual basis, with potential quality of life the deciding factor. I do not know who would be the one to make these difficult decisions. I suggest we take steps toward the easier parts of the equation and re-evaluate as we progress toward satisfactory health care for our frail elders






Works Cited
Lamm, Richard D. “The Elderly Cannot Be Guaranteed Full Access to Health Care.” Viewpoint. I HAVE NO IDEA WHO PUBLISHED VIEWPOINT, DO YOU?

Sager, Alan. “The Elderly Should Be Guaranteed Full Access To Health Care.” Viewpoint. WHERE DID IT COME FROM?


Return to 123HelpMe.com