The Social Determinants of Health in the Older Person: Some Practical Considerations for the Practice of Psychology in Puerto Rico

  • José Rodríguez-Gómez, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. Carlos Albizu University, San Juan
Keywords: Social determinants of health, elderly, Puerto Rico, public health


The population of seniors around the world has been growing. The social determinants of health markedly affect the conditions in which people are born, develop, live, work and age, tending to affect the quality and expectative of life (World Conference- Social Determinants of Health, 2011). The population of older adults usually experience greater inequality in multiple aspects, including public health issues, causing serious problems. Ineffective public policies, unfavorable economic and social conditions, within other factors, such as serious environmental conditions that affect well-being of the elderly (i.e., pass of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and limitations in electricity, food, medical and water supplies) are factors that adversely affect our older adults. The need to create public awareness and begin to work with the social determinants that place them at greater risk is essential. As sensitive and responsible professionals this need to be our goal.

Author Biography

José Rodríguez-Gómez, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., Carlos Albizu University, San Juan

Department of PhD Clinical Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, San Juan Campus, P.O. Box 9023711, San Juan, PR 00902-3711. Tel. 787-725-6500, Ext. 1125. E-mail:

Geriatric Education Center, School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, PO BOX 365067, San Juan, PR 00936-5067.