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The Aging Connection

The number of older Americans has increased dramatically because older adults are living longer partly due to the improvements in health care technology. However, the question of quality of life has been raised as people live longer and experience more health problems in the midst of rising health care costs and, as the textbook authors note, “individuals’ past health histories also directly affect their use of health care and will continue to do so” (Markson& Stein, 2012).

Those health histories include gender, as well as race and ethnicity, which are all factors in the development of chronic illnesses. Moreover, race and ethnicity have an impact upon an individual’s access to health care and the type of treatment they receive. This type of inequality plays a role in not only longevity but also the quality of life. For example, your textbook indicates that “Blacks live fewer years on average than Whites and live more years with chronic health problems” (Markson& Stein, 2012). This assignment is intended to demonstrate the interconnection between health practices, health care, and health outcomes for older adults. 

Write a paper discussing the relationship of health histories (including health practices), health care, and health outcomes for older Americans. Please elaborate upon the role of gender and ethnicity in your discussion of health outcomes, as well. What are the differences in health outcomes related to gender and ethnicity? What are the causes of these disparities in the health of older individuals? Be sure to discuss cumulative disadvantages in relation to health and illness.

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