Introduction of Community
The chosen community is a suburban area in Miami, Florida. The area is especially popular among families with children and older adults. The community is relatively healthy, with good access to medical care and health resources. The area is well-maintained, with parks and recreation zones popular among the community members. On the whole, the community does not present any significant concerns concerning health and well-being. However, some groups of the community are more vulnerable to health risks than others.
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During the day, the community is lively and active. Children are visible playing outside, whereas stay-at-home parents perform regular activities, such as shopping, gardening, or cleaning. Elderly persons are also visible in the streets during the day, walking their pets, meeting friends, or visiting neighbors. In the evening, the streets are empty, as most people stay inside with their family members. There are no particular entertainment venues available in the area, so most families go to the city center at least one time during the week.
The majority of people in the community are parents with children and elderly couples. Therefore, there are three key age groups in the community: the elderly, preschoolers, and parents with children. The most common race is white, with a few black families also present in the community. The people appear healthy, although some older adults with disabilities use walkers or canes when going outside. There are many overweight people in the community; however, the residents appear well dressed and clean. There are no tourists visible in the area.
Indicators of social and economic conditions
The area only includes single-family homes that are well-kept and rather spacious. Most of the households own one or two cars, with few people using public transportation. There are plenty of bus stops in the area, each being in good condition and offering sufficient seating and shading. No homeless people are visible in the area. Despite several small businesses in the area, such as grocery shops, cafes, and clinics, it seems that most working people travel to the city for work. The majority of people stay at home during the day, either to care for the children or retired. The area offers a sufficient number of schools and daycare facilities. No gangs or suspicious groups of people are visible in the area neither during the day nor at night. There are a few advertisements for health issues in the street, providing resources on diabetes, obesity, and immunization.
The medical resources offered by the community are sufficient. In addition to two hospitals located nearby, several specialized clinics provide dental, family planning, and pediatric services. One of the hospitals offers acute care services only, whereas the other hospital provides care for all types of conditions in inpatient and outpatient settings. Wellness clinics and nursing homes for older adults are evident in the area. Overall, the facilities that exist in the community are sufficient to fulfill the healthcare needs of the local population. However, with the number of children living in the area, it would be useful for residents to have a children’s hospital that would serve young patients exclusively.
Environmental conditions related to health
The chosen community is located in a clean, green area far from manufacturing, mining, and other large facilities. The air is rather clean, and there is no evidence of ground or water pollution. The houses are all in good hygienic conditions and are not overcrowded. The condition of the roads is satisfactory, with adequate traffic regulations in place. The traffic in the area is relatively mild due to the size of the community. All facilities and streets have structures to allow access to disabled people. The streets are clean, with no trash visible on the ground. There are some recreational facilities in the area, including parks and small restaurants. There are also two community centers offering children and older adults, such as knitting clubs, painting lessons, or music concerts. Overall, the environmental conditions observed in the area are adequate.
The social functioning of the community is excellent. Most families are full, with one parent staying at home during the day to supervise children. Older adults have enough communication with friends and neighbors and are socially active. The community appears to be coherent and welcoming. There are two Christian churches in the area that are somewhat popular among the residents. However, it appears that a large share of the community is not religious or prefers to worship at home. No criminal activity or social problems are evident in the area.
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Attitude toward healthcare
The health resources provided in the community are well utilized by residents. There is a herbal medicine shop in the area, but it is not very popular among the residents. Local wellness centers providing preventive care services are frequently visited by parents with children. However, there are little to no health promotion efforts evident in the community; most older adults use health services when they experience unusual symptoms instead of obtaining regular preventive care.
One vulnerable population that is evident in the community are older adults. Although they appear to be socially active and healthy, many of them are overweight or obese due to faulty nutrition and lack of physical exercise. Throughout the observation, few older adults were noted jogging or performing other types of physical activities. Obesity is a major health problem for the elderly, as it is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive impairment (Benito‐León, Mitchell, Hernández‐Gallego, & Bermejo‐Pareja, 2013). Medical specialists could provide valuable information about nutrition and exercise, which would help older adults in the community to maintain a healthy weight and be more active. Ensuring that weight loss is accompanied by exercise would help to promote cardiac health and improve metabolism in older adults (Bouchonville et al., 2014).
Overall, the community appears to be healthy, active, and coherent. Residents are predominantly white, well-dressed, and live in adequate conditions. The area’s infrastructure is sufficient; the streets are clean and well-kept, and there is sufficient access to medical services for the population. The most popular groups of residents are older adults and parents with young children. There are no significant environmental concerns that could affect community health; the area is green and not overcrowded. There is no evidence of crime, homelessness, or substance abuse in residents. However, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among older adults is alarming. Improving the range and popularity of preventive services provided to the local population would promote access to proper nutrition and exercise, thus helping obese adults lose weight.
Benito‐León, J., Mitchell, A. J., Hernández‐Gallego, J., & Bermejo‐Pareja, F. (2013). Obesity and impaired cognitive functioning in the elderly: A population‐based cross‐sectional study (NEDICES). European Journal of Neurology, 20(6), 899-977.
Bouchonville, M., Armamento-Villareal, R., Shah, K., Napoli, N., Sinacore, D. R., Qualls, C., & Villareal, D. T. (2014). Weight loss, exercise or both and cardiometabolic risk factors in obese older adults: results of a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Obesity, 38(3), 423-431.