Getting to Know Your Community

Introduction

This paper discusses community services for the elderly, available in Houston, Texas. The population of people above sixty-five years of age might increase to 20% by the year 2030 from 12.4%. These people would like to age in their homes and communities. Communities, therefore, have been challenged to cater for the needs of this ageing population. Understanding the ageing people’s desires and expectations would be beneficial in tackling their needs adequately. Supporting the elderly would ensure healthy ageing. In the modern world, the ageing group is more educated and wealthier, unlike the previous ageing generation. These present people who can participate actively in community activities.

Systems should be put to ensure that old people do not become a bother to the community. They need to be independent. They should be provided with the necessary support services such as reliable transport, housing, and the physical environment should also be modified to enable them to participate in social, cultural and civic activities, in their communities. Collaborations and partnerships help a lot in creating ageing-friendly communities. Many communities, including those in Houston, are providing services to the ageing group. These services may include meals, transport, and personal care, among others (Bales & Ritchie, 2009).

Discussion

In Houston, local organizations by the name Area Agencies on Ageing (AAA) coordinate services to the elderly. The services come at no cost, but the agency offers them at an affordable price to people who qualify. Sometimes, the state offers these services through unique programs for the ageing. The state can even pay for services such as health services maybe by providing skilled nursing care. To receive these services, an individual ought to qualify for Medicaid which provides funding. Area Agencies on Ageing works hand in hand with the service providers in Houston. This helps ensure that needs that fit an area get provided to the ageing. The providers include the government as well as other organizations. The local communities also provide the necessary assistance.

Houston-Galveston Area Agency on Ageing manages OAA (Older American Act). The agency also manages other programs such as housekeeping services, respite care, home-delivered meals, congregate, transportation, information, counseling, personal care, emergency response, case management, nutrition education, awareness on elder abuse, and residential education. All the above-mentioned services include programs, funded by the state of Texas. The agency ensures that the ageing people locate and access the required community services. The agency takes the accessibility of community services seriously (Hanson, 2010).

Available services

Several services can be accessed at the Houston-Galveston Area Agency on Ageing. These services assist in the autonomous survival of the aged. Service providers provide detailed information on the available services. Information regarding healthcare, home nursing services, community, and financial services can be found at the Agency’s director. Many people are already receiving the services, but the agency continually wants to increase the services it offers in Houston. The below services can be accessed at the agency.

Caregiver Respite Care Services

This service aims at providing relief to impaired, elderly people. These services can be got at the client’s home. The service can also be found at any facility offering adult daycare. However, the services can only be received temporarily.

Information services

This involves coming up with information property, lecture, target group, and support assemblage. It also includes group or individual counseling. Information services go further to include the provision of educational services to individuals or groups.

Congregate meals and home-delivered meals

Congregate meals include necessary meals served to a person, who is eligible. The meals meet the necessary dietary intakes, Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). The Food Nutrition Board of the National academy of Sciences-National Research Council establishes DRI.

Emergency Response Systems (ERS)

These systems involve installing an emergency unit for the elderly. The emergency call can be made easily to the medical professional or a volunteer who does the follow up of the client’s progress.

Health maintenance and monitoring

This service includes the provision of drugs, services, or equipment to prevent or cure an acute illness. Health maintenance also involves increasing awareness regarding the individual needs of ailing elderly people. On the other hand, health monitoring is where a medical professional performs several tests to determine the health service required by an individual. Other services include the necessary follow-ups and referrals. The testing includes hearing, diabetes, blood pressure, anemia, and vision.

Homemaker and personal assistance

A homemaker manages the home, prepares meals, and escorts the elderly to their homes. Their other duties may include shopping, dusting, cleaning, tidying, washing, among other house chores. Personal assistance includes feeding bathing, exercise, giving medicines, and several other personal needs.

Other services

Other services include legal assistance whereby an elderly person gets advice regarding legal matters such as entitlements, benefits, and representation. Outreach and recreation services can also be accessed at the agency. Service providers also upgrade the residential houses for the old people to ensure their security and independence. These providers frequently contact the old people. Caretakers also visit the old people to keep in touch with them (D’Ambrosio, 2012).

Conclusion

Houston provides services to the elderly who may find it difficult to meet their daily needs. Houston-Galveston Area agency provides these services, which include information, meals, personal care, health services, legal help, and recreational services, among others. However, these services need to be increased given that the ageing population might increase shortly, as predicted.

References

Bales, C. W., & Ritchie, C. S. (2009). Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Aging. London: Springer Publishing Company.

D’Ambrosio, L. A. (2012). Aging America and Transportation: Personal Choices and Public Policy. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Hanson, A. (2010). Baby Boomers and Beyond: Tapping the Ministry Talents and Passions of Adults Over 50. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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