It has been noted that the US is increasingly becoming an ageing nation. It is estimated that the older persons number is going to double by the year 2030 where it is expected to register an upwards of 70 million. With this in mind, we have had the Aging initiative introduced so as to come up with the national agenda for the aging as well as the environment. In this text, I provide an overview of what the initiative is and the requirements to become an initiative as well as how the government comes up with each initiative. I also discuss how the initiative helps the aging community as well as give an overview of why the initiative was selected.
The Ageing initiative
According to Leitch (2009, summer), the Ageing Initiative is an undertaking that is expected to come up with a triple National agenda as far as the Ageing and the Environment are concerned. In that regard, this initiative is expected to research and act on all the health threats posed to the older population from the environment; study the effects that shall be impacted upon the environment by a population that is seen to be ageing rapidly and last but not least; ensure that older citizens are motivated to participate at initiatives aimed on environmental protection at the societal level.
It is important to note that older persons with relatively good health may register enhanced health issues as a result of susceptibility to the various pollutants in the environment. This susceptibility is due to the normal ageing process. This essentially leads to the worsening of conditions that were preexisting as well as those that are life threatening as well as chronic. Further, it is possibly that by having lived longer, the older members of the society tend to have accumulated quite a number of contaminants whose continued presence in their bodies ends up impacting negatively on their health.
With that in mind, Carbonell (2007, summer) notes that any agenda that prioritizes the various hazards in the environment that impact negatively on older individuals is fit to become an initiative. It is important to note that the government establishes each initiative by first coming up with a relatively detailed study of the various impacts of the environment on the order citizenry. Sykes (2005, summer) notes that each initiative is developed through a process that calls for a great deal of public participation. It is such initiatives that go a long way to enable the Agency to enhance the good health of the older populace going forward. Further, all the initiatives are driven towards motivating the older population to be involved at the civic level at eliminating or reducing hazards that impact negatively on their communities.
It is important to note that the ageing community benefits in a big way from the initiatives. To begin with, the mission of EPA is very clear that it is concerned with the protection as well as safeguarding of not only the natural environment but also the health of humans, most particularly the old who are more susceptible to environmental contaminants. Hence from the word go, all the initiatives have the older populace as a priority. Before highlighting the benefits of the initiatives towards the older community, it may be important to note that as one grows older, the ability of the organ systems is diminished and hence the capacity to enhance toxins elimination is inhibited.
With that in mind, the initiatives help in the elimination or reduction in the number of hazards that are believed to impact on the lives of the older populace. The various hazards that the initiative seeks to address include but are not in any way limited to water contaminants, extremities in temperatures, pesticides, mercury as well as lead. Further, the older population gains in terms of improved health as the various research and study findings are converted to prevention strategies as far as public health is concerned.
According to Schonfeld et al. (2008, Fall), the selection of the initiative has much to do with the need to safeguard as well as protect the health of individuals, especially the older population. Further the initiative was informed by the realization that there is a transformation (demographic) that is taking place in the U.S where it is approximated that by the year 2030 the numbers of those in the aged bracket shall be above 70 million. The realization that older individuals may not be able to detoxify due to weaker organ systems may have also played a big role as far as the selection of the initiative is concerned.
In conclusion, it is important to note that the relevance of the Ageing Initiative as far as the enhancement of the health of the older population is concerned cannot be overstated. With the benefits underlined above with regard to how the initiatives help the ageing population, the prioritization of the elimination or reduction thereof of all the environmental health threats should take center stage going forward.
Schonfeld, L., & Hedgecock, D. (2008, fall). State initiatives to improve the access of older adults to behavioral health services. Generations, 32(3), 40
Sykes, K. (2005, summer). A healthy environment for older adults: The aging initiative of the environmental protection agency. Generations, 29(2), 65
Carbonell, J. G. (2007, summer). Leveraging philanthropic investments to advance policy change. Generations, 31(2), 29
Leitch, A. (2009, summer). Voices of the elders: On creating aging-friendly communities from a member of the 'target population'. Generations, 33(2), 66.