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Community Resources for Older Individuals

Old age is a critical period that often results in the deterioration of various spheres in an individual’s life, for example, one or more of either physical, social, or mental domains. However, with the right community services to support elderly individuals, it helps improve their quality of life and delay institutionalization. While targeting Hillsborough, this paper seeks to explore the aging services available within this region, highlight gaps in the efficacy of these services, and provide a proposition on how the extant amenities can be improved.

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Hillsborough provides aging facilities meant to improve the quality of life of older adults to ensure they are safe and healthy. The various provisions are broad, but they do not involve these elderly individuals (Somerset Count New Jersey, 2015). There are protective services that ensure to protect the seniors from risk and harm and uphold their self-determination. However, these are not specific to older adults and may not cover all of them, especially those living on their own. There are aging and disability services that seek to help the elderly maintain an active life, provide nourishment, and help these individuals in enrolling and making changes to Medicare plans. There are handyman and fall cleanup programs that seek to tidy and do repairs in seniors’ residents, and there are no suggestions of how the older adults are or can be involved in such programs. Hillsborough’s aging services seek to mind the wellbeing of individuals but tend to sideline their psychosocial domain.

Even though Hillsborough, New Jersey, might provide various services, which include engaging the elderly in active programs and proving meals, there are no integration plans. These services merely help ensure older adults are healthy but they do not go the extra mile to ensure they are active members of the community. Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman (2019) present a case that shows the essence of involving this population in the community. Old age should not be related to being dysfunctional because these are individuals who have been active, and when their normal life abruptly changes, that is when other health issues are bound to emerge. When this population is not acknowledged to produce positive input, such negativity takes a toll on their health and becomes the reason for poor health among these older adults.

Another gap is that some of these amenities require the individual to have finances, and especially the adult and disability services. As a result, such facilities tend to sideline deserving older adults with low or no socioeconomic power due to the criteria in place. The gap augments the issue of insurance coverage which is not holistic and tends to be characterized by inequality. As a result, different older adults will visit healthcare facilities in alignment with their socioeconomic power, and those without resources may fail to seek medical help (McMaughan et al., 2020). Such a phenomenon further illustrates the lack of awareness of community support services in old age. Older adults, their families, and friends do not know which type of support to seek in alignment with their socioeconomic power.

The current aging services at Hillsborough, New Jersey, can be revamped in various ways. Older adults can be involved in activities taking place within their residents. When they are integrated into the community, they feel more useful; hence, they have a reason to continue indulging in these services. Moreover, these seniors can feel more purposeful by involving family members. As a result, the referral services can be enhanced by lining these individuals to their families and enlightening these families on how they can integrate them into daily family activities instead of sidelining them. Failure to involve them makes them feel worthless and triggers loneliness, stress, and depression that can be fatal.

Whereas there might be websites linked to the aging services available in Hillsborough, there is no clear indication of how the various service agents inform the public about them. Siegler et al. (2015) note that even though these aging services are available, a large proportion of the population does not know about the availability and accessibility of community-based supports and services. Individuals in old age have the wrong perceptions about some of these programs and end up frustrated when reality strikes, as discussed by Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman (2019). As a result, it becomes difficult for individuals to access support services.

The principal service that should be added is that of financial support because old age is considered to be a time when chronic diseases attack. Tucker-Seeley et al. (2011) present a study showing that financial strain precedes multimorbidity. The aggravated poor financial condition of older adults indicates a need for information during the financial transition phase so that individuals can understand how to deal with their changing financial situation. Older individuals need to understand the changes that are bound to take place in their lives and how they can manage these changes through proper utilization of resources. Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman (2019) present various health cover plans which require insight on their use. Thereby, it is essential for the current Hillsborough aging services to be improved by health promotion efforts to enable older individuals’ transition in all domains of life: physically, socially, financially, mentally, and spiritually.

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In conclusion, aging services are imperative because family and friends might not be able to address all the needs of older adults. Hillsborough has explicit aging services that aim to provide hot meals, healthcare, and active adult programming. Unfortunately, older individuals have issues integrating into the mainstream community and dealing with their changing social and financial aspects of life. As a result, it is imperative to empower them so that they are aware of where to go when they need help.

References

McMaughan, D. J., Oloruntoba, O., & Smith, M. L. (2020). Socioeconomic status and access to healthcare: Interrrelated drivers for healthy aging. Frontiers Public Health, 8(231). Web.

Siegler, E. L., Lama, S. D., Knight, M. G., Laureano, E., & Reid, M. C. (2015). Community- based supports and services for older adults: A primer for clinicians. Journal of Geriatrics, 2015, 678625. Web.

Somerset County New Jersey. (2015). Senior program & services. Web.

Tucker-Seeley, R. D., Li, Y., Sorensen, G., & Subramanian, S. V. (2011). Lifecourse socioeconomic circumstances and multimorbidity among older adults. BMC Public Health, 11(4), 313–321. Web.

Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2019). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (11th ed.). Cengage Learning.

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