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For this discussion, you will need to select one vulnerable population from below.

Vulnerable Populations:

Homeless population

In your initial post:

Describe the health determinants affecting the selected vulnerable population, including:

Social and economic environment

Physical environment

Individual characteristics


Identify a health determinant that you think negatively impacts your selected vulnerable population the most and explain why you think this.

In your reply posts, review your peers’ posts and reply to two peers by:

Explaining whether you agree or disagree with their chosen health determinant for their selected vulnerable population.

Describe a strategy to reduce social determinants of their selected vulnerable population.

In your reply posts, review your peers’ posts and reply to two peers by:

Explaining whether you agree or disagree with their chosen health determinant for their selected vulnerable population.

Describe a strategy to reduce social determinants of their selected vulnerable population.

Respond to: Chelsea Kehoe
There are numerous health determinants that affect the elderly. Anyone who struggles with healthrelated determinants is at risk of experiencing poor health. For older adults, these factors can
significantly impact their health and the aging process.
Social and economic environment: Social determinants of health are the non-medical factors that
influence health outcomes. They are conditions in which people are born, grow, live, and age, and the
wider set of forces shaping the conditions of daily life (Gross, 2021). These variables include economic
security, social-connectedness, food security and nutrition, education, and health care. Economic
security is essential to covering health care costs, housing expenses, transportation access, and monthly
living expenses (Gross, 2021). Access to nutritious, affordable food is essential for seniors to live healthy
lives. Older people are more likely to live alone and be socially disconnected in the United States than
elsewhere in the world, but living alone often results in isolation, loneliness, and cognitive decline
(Gross, 2021).
Physical environment: Seniors’ ability to thrive is influenced greatly by home and community, yet
seniors’ surroundings are often inadequate. Aging in place requires an environment that is safe, secure,
and ideally walkable (Gross, 2021). Support services are often needed to ensure a safe and secure home
Individual characteristics: Individual characteristics that affect the elderly can include things such as
gender, race, or genetic predispositions to certain diseases.
Behaviors: As with any population, individual behavior plays a role in health outcomes. Examples of
these determinants include diet, physical activity, alcohol or drug use, and smoking (HealthyPeople.gov,
I think the health determinant that has the most negative effect on the elderly is their social
and economic environment. Because many older adults require care they are not able to
receive at home, they may end up in a long-term care facility where they are not around
their loved ones like they are used to, and their environment is unfamiliar. As I mentioned
above, this can have a detrimental effect on their cognitive abilities general well-being.
Financial stressors can also keep them from being able to obtain the medication and care
they may need.
Respond to: Joie Alebrande
Homeless Population
In 2020, it is reported that there are 552,830 homeless people in America and the numbers are
increasing (Stasha, 2020). The homeless population is more susceptible to disease because of their
limited access to healthcare services. Approximately 2.4% of the homeless population dies each year
(Stasha, 2020). Mental illness is one of the most common causes of homelessness, approximately 24% of
the population suffer from mental health issues (Stasha, 2020).
Social and Economic Environment
The social and economic environments play a role in the health determinants of the homeless
population. Homelessness can come from many different situations, such as financial hardships,
substance abuse, mental illness, and traumatic events, just to name a few (Ramin & Svoboda,
2019). These situations can lead to poor education, inability to find work, health issues, and lack of selfconfidence. These factors can affect their health and overall well-being. The majority of the homeless
population does not have access to healthcare or insurance to help with their health concerns.
Physical Environment
The physical environment is a crucial part of the homeless population. Living outside in the elements of
pollution, noise, inclement weather, water, and food contamination. All of these factors can lead to
unhealthy and unsafe living conditions and shorter lifespans (Ramin & Svoboda, 2019). Unfortunately, it
is very common for the homeless population to be exposed to these hazards. The homeless population
can suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, bronchitis, hypertension, and
diabetes (Stasha, 2020).
Individual Characteristics and Behaviors
Individual characteristics and behaviors are contributing factors for the health determinants for the
homeless population. The homeless population can face struggles with drug use, poor diet, lack of
hygiene, alcoholism, sexual behavior, smoking, and lack of physical activity (Ramin & Svoboda,
2019). These habits can increase a person’s risk for illnesses and no access to healthcare. The homeless
population was shown to have a lack of impulse control leading to bad decision-making and possibly
putting themselves at risk for contracting diseases (Wood, 2018).
After evaluating the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and individual
characteristics and behaviors of the homeless population, I believe the physical environment
has the most impact. I think it is important for individuals to have a clean environment to live in
with clean food and water. Unfortunately, the population that is homeless does not have much
of a choice of where they live or what they have access to. The weather also plays a role
because they do not always have a roof over there where they will be safe from the outside
elements. All of these things combined put them at higher risk for illness and disease.

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