09 5 / 2012
Medical Advancements: An Advantage to the Elderly?
The market-driven healthcare environment tend to show how much of the general public is being taken by the convincing strategies of thriving health industry companies, medical journals report. It is even more intimidating to know that all medical devices available in health departments had been cleared by the questioned 510 (k) review process. These concerns have roused House members into submitting a bill to reform FDA loophole based on vaginal mesh and other medical devices.
Truly, the health care system has changed a lot over the past years, and the aging population has benefited much from these technological advances. Most of these medical discoveries have enabled the elderly and many frail patients to battle chronic diseases and physical alterations related to the aging process. However, studies have also revealed how much the cost of health care has risen over the years, and is even deemed to further grow as new medical tools and interventions are developed. With the expected medical needs of the elderly, are these costly medical advancements really helping?
Based on Erik Erikson’s developmental theory, adults aging 60 and up confronts life situations that challenge them to attain ego integrity. During this period, they will reflect on their accomplishments and slowly accept all positive and negative experiences they have handled and consider each of them as part of their lives. This is why they often like telling stories of their past every chance they get. For some who often shares experiences of missed opportunities and unresolved problems, despair may slowly set in. Those around them need to know how much the presence of family and relatives makes it easier for them to live through the remaining years of their lives with contentment. However, apart from their social needs, the physiologic changes that come with increasing age also require great care and attention that medical devices alone cannot provide.
Numerous lifestyle adjustments must be made to accommodate the elderly’s declining health. Problems like memory impairment, depression, susceptibility to all types of infections, injuries and falls, mobility limitations, generalized weakness, elimination difficulties, sleeping irregularities, and reduced exercise tolerance among many others are expected to surface. Chronic heart conditions, bone problems, and incontinence may also materialize as the body further weakens.
Perhaps, the innovative and market oriented health care improvements have been useful to alleviate the discomforts of the elderly. However, these advancements have brought sufferings and injuries to some, and even led to indictments like the increasing number of transvaginal mesh lawsuit.
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