Florida’s Elderly (60 and Older)
Within the state of Florida, the population of the elderly from 60 and older is growing with each year. Furthermore, the state is the top on the national list about the percentage of the population aged sixty and older (Florida Health, 2013b, p. 1). When assessing the health condition of the elderly population in Florida, it is important to mention the individual, interpersonal, community, and environmental influences that affect their health status.
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On the individual level, the influences that affect the health status of the elderly in Florida are gender and education since upon reaching a certain age, men and women suffer from different types of illnesses while their education and professional background (e.g. harmful working conditions) affect their health at 60 and older. On the interpersonal level, the health condition of the elderly greatly depends on their relationship with friends and family and whether they have children caring for them.
On the community level, the elderly is greatly dependent on the health services provided by the state of Florida as well as non-governmental programs targeted at helping the elderly improve their health. The environmental influences include the hot Florida climate that often causes high blood pressure and hyperthermia in the elderly as well as the physical environment – clean water and safe housing.
The most influential factors contributing to the overall health of the Florida elderly community are interpersonal influences since the lack of care from the closest relatives leaves the elderly helpless and abandoned. Individual influences possess the least effect since age, or educational status can rarely be major contributors to either poor or good health in the elderly population. To improve the health of the elderly communities across Florida, the state promotes the Older Adults Falls Prevention to manage the instances of falls in the elderly, the Florida BRITE Project that targets the management of alcohol and substance abuse in the elderly, and the Senior HIV Intervention Program.
Children in Foster Care
The health of children living in foster care is of primary concern since many of them are taken care of by the government because of the neglect, violence, or abuse from their previous parents or caregivers. Thus, the individual influences contributing to the state of children’s health include their congenital conditions or previous medical history of mental and physical illness. On the interpersonal level, it is important to mention the relationship between children and their parents or caregivers and whether they go along with their peers.
On the community level, children in foster care require the most help from the community since their real parents are unable to provide the care. Furthermore, children in foster care are reliant on government-provided health services that prevent and treat illnesses found in children. Lastly, environmental influences like safe housing and availability of adequate living conditions are crucial for the well-being of any child, especially children living in foster care.
For the population of children living in foster care, environmental factors have the most effect on health. To have good health, children are to be surrounded by a safe and supportive environment that includes clean water, good food, safe housing, etc. Since children are not fully formed as individuals yet, their influences can change and thus have the least effect. Also, children living in foster care most likely experienced violent behavior from their parents; thus, for them, the indicator of violence, injury, as well as mental health has the greatest impact on health and wellness.
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To prevent illnesses and diseases among children in foster care in Florida, the government cooperates with community-based agencies that make health care widely available (Florida Health, 2013a, p. 1).
Extremely Obese Population in Florida
Extremely obese individuals have a direct impact on the domestic economy, the health of the state of Florida, as well as the country overall. It is important to mention that in the state of Florida, 64.2% of the population are overweight while 26.6% are obese (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2012, p. 2). The individual factors that influence the health of the obese Florida population are their gender and age since in Florida men are more prone to obesity (68.4%) than women (56.1%) (KFF, 2014, para. 1).
Interpersonal factors include whether people have a family and what relationships and behaviors exist within the family. The community factors include access to health care services that can deal with negative consequences of extreme obesity as well as the social support networks targeted at improving the health of the extremely obese population in Florida by promoting a healthy lifestyle. Environmental factors include the area in which people live as well as the availability of healthy food in that area.
Individual factors like gender, age, personal behavior, and coping skills play the most important role in affecting the health of the extremely obese while the environmental factors can rarely influence bad health for the obese population is caused by their physical condition.
To manage the issue of obesity, the Florida Department of Health promotes the Safe Routes to School Walking Bus program for children to have an active lifestyle. Since increased breastfeeding decreases the instances of obesity in children, the government also supports breastfeeding-friendly environments (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2012, p. 4).
Homeless Communities in Florida
Homelessness is a complex issue that did not pass the state of Florida. Homeless people are not only faced with the problem of shelter, but they also struggle with poor health. The individual factors of gender and sex play the least role in the well-being of the population. Interpersonal factors are also not very important since the homeless are much more concerned with finding shelter or a place to work. Community factors like social support networks or the availability of health services are greatly influential for the homeless since they possess no resources to provide adequate healthcare for themselves. The most important is linked to environmental factors like the availability of clean water, shelter, food, and adequate hygiene can greatly influence the health of the homeless population.
The health of the homeless population in Florida is exposed to a range of negative health indicators, such as drug, tobacco, and alcohol use, injury, and violence, no access to healthcare as well as environmental issues. Thus, it is hard to point out at one specific factor that influences the health of the homeless the most, rather, it is the combination of such factors.
The state of Florida engages in promoting the practice of Cultural Humility that aims at delivering equal healthcare services to all individuals, including the homeless. With governmental and private investments, the state initiates support programs for the homeless like SAMHA mental health funding or HUD funding (National Health Care for the Homeless Council, 2015, p. 10).
Population with Behavioral Health Concerns
Behavior health poses the greatest threat to the health of individuals themselves and the people surrounding them. Thus, individual factors like genetics, age, and social situation play an important role in the mental health of individuals with behavioral health concerns. Interpersonal factors like relationships with relatives or peers, as well as the employment situation also greatly contribute to the health condition of individuals with behavioral health concerns.
Since poor behavioral health is linked to a variety of environmental factors, including the housing situation; thus, it is not effective to point out specific influences contributing to the physical health of individuals with behavioral concerns.
To address issues individuals with behavioral concerns face when dealing with their overall health, the state of Florida has established the 24-Hour Mental Health Helpline that can provide individuals with all necessary information as well as provide referrals to mental health professionals (Florida Hospital, n.d., para. 2). Furthermore, the local government also offers inpatient psychiatric medicine units that provide a safe environment for patients, their supervision, and recovery.
Outpatient psychiatric services are also widely available to individuals with behavioral health concerns across the state. These services are instrumental in conducting initial evaluations of the mental conditions or patients along with medication prescriptions. It is important to mention that because mental health issues can affect anyone ranging from children to senior adults, the outpatient psychiatric services in Florida cover patients of all ages.
Florida Health. (2013a). Vulnerable population: Children in foster care/child welfare system. Web.
Florida Health. (2013b). Vulnerable population: Elders 60 and older. Web.
Florida Hospital. (n.d). Behavioral health. Web.
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KFF. (2014). Overweight and obesity rates for adults by gender. Web.
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2012). Florida: State nutrition, physical activity, and obesity profile. Web.
National Health Care for the Homeless Council. (2015). Annual report. Web.