Those older adults who are aged 65 years old and over usually require the community’s support and additional care provided by nurses, physicians, and social workers. In South Florida, the number of older people is extremely high, making Florida one of the states where the proportion of older adults is the highest one, and this number tends to increase (U.S. Administration on Aging, 2012). The purpose of this paper is to identify five specific community resources which are associated with providing support for older people in South Florida as the selected community and evaluate how these resources can guarantee assistance for older adults.
Description of the Community
The urban community of South Florida is located in the Southern part of Florida, and it includes Miami metropolitan area and such cities as Ft. Lauderdale, Hialeah, Miami Gardens, Boca Raton, and Ft. Myers among others. More than 20% of the entire population of South Florida are men and women who are aged over than 60 years old. More than 12% of people living in this community are aged over than 70 years old, and about 5% of Floridians are aged over than 80 years old (U.S. Administration on Aging, 2012).
The racial composition related to older adults and typical of Florida and this particular community is the following one: more than 75% are white, about 10% are African American, and about 10% are Hispanic. The median household income in this community is about $50,000. Experts also pay attention to the fact that, by 2030, more than 30% of the population of Florida, and South Florida in particular, will be aged over than 60 years old (U.S. Administration on Aging, 2012).
Community Resources for Older Adults
In South Florida, those older adults who refuse to cooperate with caregivers and choose to concentrate on independent self-care can use the resources provided by the Alliance for Aging. This organization which operates in the community provides support for older adults who do not receive the regular assistance from their caregivers and relatives (Alliance for Aging, 2013). The range of services proposed by the organization includes assistance in delivering meals, consultation of social workers, assistance in transportation, and guidance of professionals from adult care centers.
Acute Care Discharge
When those older adults who live in the urban community of South Florida require the acute care, they can receive help at Mount Sinai Medical Center. This hospital specializes in providing care for the older population in South Florida. Mount Sinai Medical Center is known as one of the largest hospitals in the United States which propose the assistance of professional geriatricians (Mount Sinai Medical Center, 2017). Those older adults who live in South Florida often use the acute care resources of the center which cover the following fields: cardiology, urology, cancer care, and orthopedic care among other service areas.
In South Florida, the long-term care for adults who are older than 65 years is based on nursing homes. The example of such nursing home is Calusa Harbour Health Center. This facility can accept about 50 older adults who require the regular care and support. This nursing home, as well as other similar nursing homes in South Florida, guarantees the delivery of the continuing or long-term care services. As a result, this facility addresses the needs of those older adults who cannot live independently and who have no family caregivers.
In the discussed community of urban South Florida, services are also provided to whole families, including not only older adults but also family caregivers. The role of a caregiver is very stressful and exhausting. Thus, family caregivers require some time to rest. In South Florida, Easterseals sponsors the In-Home Respite Care services for family caregivers for different periods of time (Easterseals South Florida, 2017). While participating in this program, persons can receive assistance in housekeeping. They can also participate in recreational activities to improve their health and mental state.
End of Life Care
There are also situations when older adults need the assistance of professionals working in hospices. OpusCare of South Florida is one of the well-known hospices in the community which operates here more than 25 years. OpusCare of South Florida provides the palliative care services as well as the support required for older patients who have terminal illnesses (OpusCare of South Florida, 2017). The focus is on providing the high-quality care to address the needs of those older patients whose diseases cannot be cured effectively.
Evaluation of Community Resources
Accessibility of Resources
While evaluating the resources available to older adults in South Florida, it is possible to state that long-term and acute care resources are accessible to almost all older adults living in the urban community. Hospitals providing the geriatric care, nursing homes, hospices, and centers for family caregivers are located in most large cities of South Florida. Furthermore, a range of services in this community is provided by non-profit organizations and associations which mission is to support older adults in different states of the country.
The majority of the older population in South Florida can participate in the programs proposed by the Alliance for Aging or sponsored by Easterseals South Florida (Alliance for Aging, 2013; Easterseals South Florida, 2017). However, there is also one weakness in the organization and provision of services for older people in the community. The problem is that the number of older adults in South Florida is extremely high, and it will increase, as it is stated by experts (U.S. Administration on Aging, 2012). Therefore, more centers for the older population should be organized to respond to these people’s needs and provide the required support.
The Continuum of Care
In spite of the fact that there are many organizations and facilities which support older adults in South Florida, the continuum of care is rather questionable, and it can be guaranteed only if an older adult participates in one of the programs sponsored by the state or if his or her caregiver ensures the easy transition from one level of support to another. Although there are many centers which provide care and support to older people and there are many organizations specializing in geriatric care in South Florida, the connection between these organizations is limited. This situation can negatively affect the quality of the care provided to older people in this community.
In order to improve the quality of life of the older population in South Florida and guarantee people’s safety, it is possible to propose additional resources to be implemented in the community. Much attention should be paid to coordinating the provision of care at the community level in order to guarantee the continuum of the delivered support. Furthermore, more attention should be paid to developing disease prevention programs in the context of geriatric care and to organizing more centers for older people which are also known as senior centers. The current number of such centers can be insufficient to address the needs of all older people who live in the urban community of South Florida because of the high density of older adults in this region. Services proposed in these centers should include information, counseling, nutrition programs, wellness programs, recreational activities, social services, and transportation services among others. These services are provided by many non-profit organizations in South Florida today, but the development of this sector is required.
In spite of the fact that five different types of community resources are available to older adults in the urban community of South Florida, it is possible to improve the situation regarding the geriatric care in this part of the state and add more resources to address the needs of the growing number of the older population. Thus, it is important to state that older people living in South Florida have access to long-term and acute care, they have resources for the independent self-care and end of life care, and family caregivers also can receive assistance. However, the following resources should be added to increase the quality of the proposed services: the increase in the number of centers for older adults (senior centers). The focus should be on providing information, assistance, nutrition and wellness programs, recreational activities, social services, and transportation services to address the needs of older people living in the urban community of South Florida.
Alliance for Aging. (2013). Answers on aging.
Easterseals South Florida. (2017). Respite services.
Mount Sinai Medical Center. (2017).
OpusCare of South Florida. (2017). Home page.
U.S. Administration on Aging. (2012). Florida: Policy academy state profile.