Health Issues for the Aging
Write a 1,100 word paper minimum that addresses a health issue for older
individuals ( Diabetes) Include the following:
- Evaluate what the literature suggests as a resolution to your chosen issue
- Discuss any attempts to incorporate the solution into public policy.
- Determine the barriers to implementation of the solution.
- Analyze the options being discussed for public and/or private funding.
- Propose your own recommendation.
Health Issues for the Aging
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a total of thirty million
Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. Out of these, approximately twelve million are
aged above 65years of age. Diabetes is among the first ten diseases leading to high mortality in
the United States of America (USA). The total annual expenditure for medical care provided to
diabetic patients is three hundred and twenty-seven billion dollars (American Diabetes
Association, 2016). The essay below discusses the public policy that has been suggested, the
attempts that have been made for the implementation of the public policies, options for the
funding for diabetes and my recommendations for the public policy on diabetes among the
elderly in the USA.
Literature Suggestion for Resolution
HEALTH PUBLIC POLICY 2
The ADA proposes for early diagnoses of individuals for developing diabetes. According
to the ADA, early diagnosis of diabetes prevents the development of complications associated
with diabetes and therefore, reduces the overall cost managing the condition among individuals
aged sixty-five years and above. Specifically, ADA suggests that all individuals aged above
sixty-five years and overweight should undergo, fasting glucose test and oral glucose every one
to three years. According to previous studies, evidence shows that early diagnosis of diabetes
helps in preventing the complications associated with the condition significantly. Notably,
diabetes can be diagnosed through detection of abnormal blood glucose levels several months
before the manifestation of the symptom. Additionally, according to the American Diabetic
Association, several methods can be employed for the prevention of diabetes among the elderly.
To begin with, the manifestation of symptoms of diabetes can be prevented in the elderly
individuals through various methods such as; dietary management, lifestyle hangs and
pharmacological preventive measures. Dietary management limits the amount of lipid-
containing foods, and carbohydrates diets while promoting a balanced diet. Dietary management
reduces the lipid levels in the blood, and subsequently reducing the risk of complications
associated with diabetes. Lifestyle changes majorly involve weight control to reduce the risk of
developing microvascular complications of diabetes among the elderly. According to the Health
Issues for the Aging, dietary and lifestyle significantly reduces the risk of developing
complications of diabetes among the aged population whose age is more than seventy-five years
of age (Mozaffarian, 2016).
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC), projects that the prevalence of diabetes among
the elderly will increase among the elderly. The CDC projects that the effect of the increase in
the number of Americans affected by diabetes will lead to the financial burden for the
HEALTH PUBLIC POLICY 3
management of diabetes, pension schemes for the elderly and the individuals quality of life
reduces. Therefore, the CDC has proposed guidelines to promote quality of life reduce the
occurrence of disability among the elderly affected by diabetes and increase their capacity to
carry out activities of daily living. Specifically, the CDC has proposed that lifestyle adjustments
should be started early in life since risk lifestyle behaviors that expose individuals to diabetes
start early in life. To begin with, the CDC proposes provision of information to healthcare
providers, specialists for the aging diseases, and the consumers of the services. Additionally, the
CDC proposes support for the healthcare providers, institutions and organizations financially
towards the management of diabetes among the elderly, implementation of effective preventive
measures among the elderly (Schmittdiel, Gopalan, Lin, Banerjee, Chau, & Adams, 2017).
Attempts to Incorporate the Solution into Public Policy
The federal government has implemented preventive and management solutions into
public policy. For instance, through the Medicare health insurance scheme, the federal
government meets the costs of screening, inpatient treatment and outpatient management and
strategies to improve the individual’s quality of life. Specifically, the Medicare covers the costs
for the screening of individuals that are categorized under the risk of developing diabetes.
Medicare has identified risk assessment criteria that include; high blood pressure, overweight
parties, high lipid levels and history of high blood sugar. Also, Medicare meets the costs of the
physician’s consultation fee, laboratory test expenses for diabetes and nutritional counseling
services cost. Furthermore, the federal government meets the cost for the management of
HEALTH PUBLIC POLICY 4
diabetes; the self-administered medications and costs for revisits for diabetes patients
(Strawbridge, Lloyd, Meadow, Riley, & Howell, 2015).
Besides, the Center for Disease Control funds the state-based diabetic control and
management programmes through grants to all the states. Specifically, the CDC “aims to fund
the expenses incurred in the diagnosis, prevention, and management of diabetes and the related
complications. Additionally, the state governments are supposed to provide additional funding to
the grants and support offered by the CDC.” Also, several states have put into place laws and
legislation that provide for financing for management of diabetes, for instance, provisions of
insulin drugs, insulin syringes, glucose monitors and diabetic emergency kit to healthcare
organizations and institutions (Schmittdiel et al., 2017).
Barriers to Implementation of the Solution
To begin with, the growing prevalence of diabetes among the elderly is increasing,
according to the American Diabetes Association. Therefore, the cost for the prevention,
screening, and management of diabetes will increase. Also, the Centre for Disease Control has
been reducing the grant s offered to the specific states. Notably, the CDC provides the number of
resources offered for management of diabetes based on the number of individuals diagnosed with
the condition. Additionally, completion of resources from other leading causes of mortality in
the USA including cancer mental disorders and trauma limit the number of resources available
for the prevention and management of diabetes. Furthermore, the conflict between the guidelines
provided for the management and prevention of diabetes and the knowledge of the physician on
HEALTH PUBLIC POLICY 5
diabetes hinder the implementation of the preventive measures initiated by the federal and state
governments (Zimmet, Alberti, Magliano, & Bennett, 2016).
Options for Funding
The options offered for public and private funding are; federal and state funding through
Medicare and Medicaid, grants by CDC and out of pocket payments. The Medicare and
Medicaid have strict qualification criteria explicitly restricting benefits to the poor, middle
income, and people with disabilities. The grants from the CDC are channeled to the state
authorities that subsequently fund the diabetes programs. Out of pocket payments are made to
individuals who do not qualify for government coverage or choose to fund their expenditure
(Schmittdiel et al., 2017).
There should be a federal program for funding the costs incurred in the prevention and
management of diabetes among the elderly. The program should not include further restrictions.
All the individuals over the age of sixty-five years should be regularly screened for diabetes.
Education concerning diabetes should be disseminated to the health care professionals and the
general public. Medicaid and Medicare should increase funding for costs in managing diabetes.
In conclusion, several public policies have been developed in the USA and other parts of
the world regarding the prevention and management of diabetes. Some of the policies have been
implemented in the United States. However, there are several challenges that the implementation
HEALTH PUBLIC POLICY 6
of these guidelines. There are several options for public and private funding for the prevention
and management of diabetes. However, the scope provided by the public policies and funding
options should be increased to cater for the expected increase in the prevalence of diabetes.
American Diabetes Association. (2016). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2016 abridged
for primary care providers. Clinical diabetes: a publication of the American Diabetes
Association, 34(1), 3.
Mozaffarian, D. (2016). Dietary and policy priorities for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and
obesity: a comprehensive review. Circulation, 133(2), 187-225.
Schmittdiel, J. A., Gopalan, A., Lin, M. W., Banerjee, S., Chau, C. V., & Adams, A. S. (2017).
Population health management for diabetes: health care system-level approaches for
improving quality and addressing disparities. Current diabetes reports, 17(5), 31.
HEALTH PUBLIC POLICY 7
Strawbridge, L. M., Lloyd, J. T., Meadow, A., Riley, G. F., & Howell, B. L. (2015). Use of
Medicare’s diabetes self-management training benefit. Health Education & Behavior,
Zimmet, P., Alberti, K. G., Magliano, D. J., & Bennett, P. H. (2016). Diabetes mellitus statistics
on prevalence and mortality: facts and fallacies. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 12(10),