Vulnerable Population and Self-Awareness Identify Essay

Pages: 4 (1457 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing  ·  Buy This Paper

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Gil's job puts him at high risk for other health problems and exacerbates his high cholesterol because of the general lack of exercise inherent in being a truck driver (combined with days of eccentric heavy lifting that strains his back), the lack of sleep truck drivers have to deal with while driving, and also the risk of injury on the road. At least 30 minutes of exercise a day is suggested for all Americans, particularly those with high cholesterol (Lee-Frye 2010). Truck driving, according to the Centers of Disease Control, is an extremely unhealthy profession. "studies suggest that the risks of cancer, heart attacks, and other disorders may be associated with aspects of long-haul driving such as loading and unloading cargo, irregular schedules, long hours of driving, a sedentary lifestyle, and the nature of drivers' food choices on the road" (Truck driver safety and health, 2007, NIOSH science blog). Truck drivers face a risk of injury or illness 11 times greater than that of the rest of the population (Truck driver safety and health, 2007, NIOSH science blog).

Gil does not have a great deal of time to include exercise into his daily routine because he must care for his mother, as well as for his family. Gil is part of what is often called the 'sandwich generation.' "An AARP report found that 44% of 45- to 55-year-olds had both at least one living parent and one child under age 21" (Pierret 2006:3). He is still responsible for taking care of his children, but he also has aging parents to further burden him and prevent him from taking proactive steps for self-care. Gil does not particularly want to take his mother in, but when offered the choice, she jumps at the chance.

Beginning a regular exercise program could be extremely beneficial for Gil. It would reduce his need to take painkillers for his back. It would help him lower his cholesterol and reduce his risk for other health problems, including heart disease and diabetes, which also disproportionately afflict members of his ethnic group. It would also provide a potential source of stress relief from the current tensions he is navigating at home.

Enabling Gil to have more time to exercise would require negotiations with his wife and teenagers to allow him to take the time to do so. Working out together with Helen could be a source of bonding, and help them reconnect after the tensions and strain in their relationship from Gil spending more time with his mother. Instead of sitting down on the couch and having a few beers every night, Gil and Helen could go to the gym together, or at least for a neighborhood walk or bike ride. This would also give them time to discuss conflicts about how to raise their children, given that Gil and Helen frequently have different points-of-view on the subject.

Losing weight, getting his cholesterol down, and dealing with his back pain will not solve all of Gil's problems. However, it will make it easier for him to deal with some of the stressors with which he is coping. Finally, finding someone to help take care of his mother such as a visiting nurse service would take additional pressures off of Gil, given how much of his free time is spent caring for her. Reducing physical and emotional stress is key for Gil to successfully live a happy middle age.

References

Cesar, Stephen (2011). Hispanic population tops 50 million in U.S. LA Times.

Retrieved: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/24/nation/la-na-census-hispanic-20110325

Daniel, J.W., Kimberly, A.D., Kevin, S.K., & Wayne, A.D. (2007). Prescription opioid abuse and dependence: Assessment strategies for counselors. Journal of Counseling and Development: JCD, 85(2), 211-215.

Loria, C.M., Bush, T.L., Carroll, M.D., Looker, A.C., & al, e. (1995). Macronutrient intakes among adult Hispanics: A comparison of Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, and Mainland Puerto Ricans. American Journal of Public Health, 85(5), 684-9.

Percocet abuse in America. (2012). Percocet abuse help. Retrieved:

http://www.percocetabusehelp.com/percocet-addiction-america

Percocet addition. (2012). Eopiates. Retrieved:

http://www.eopiates.com/percocet/percocet-addiction.html

Pierret, Charles. (2006). The sandwich generation. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Retrieved:

http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2006/09/art1full.pdf

Truck driver safety and health. (2007). NIOSH science blog. Retrieved:

http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2007/11/truck/

Tunnell, Kenneth, D. (2005). The OxyContin epidemic and crime panic in rural Kentucky.

Contemporary Drug Problems, 32(2), 225-258,169-170. [END OF PREVIEW]

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