Carrying out a community needs assessment is an essential aspect of community health nursing because in the process, nurses can identify the problems within the region and develop the goals to address them. Various issues affect different communities depending on the age of people inhabiting there, their educational status, income levels, availability of health services, accessibility to healthcare facilities, and other determinants of health (Marmot, & Allen, 2014). In particular, Century Village in West Palm Beach County of Florida has different determinants of health. Many people that dwell in Florida are above 55 years old (Florida 55, 2016). Chalise (2014) contends that such aging population is predisposed to various health problems and requires proper health care. This paper examines Century Village in Florida focusing on the physical environment, the population characteristics, and the health system.
Description of the Community
History. According to Brecher (2010), Century Villages in Florida appeared in late1960s when a developer named Aaron Schecter contributed the idea of creating homes for the retired people. He began building several units together with other developers such as Irwin Levy (Nalander, 2010). During that time, Palm Beach County was still a remote place and attracted low-income retired people. The developers sold the units to the senior citizens, and since that time, many retired people started migrating to Century Village due to its affordable housing and friendly environment.
Type of community. Century Village, West Palm Beach County, FL, is an urban community. The local shopping centers and medical facilities are at a small distance from the residential homes (“South Florida’s Best Retirement Value,” 2016). The majority of citizens usually have a proper access to the urban services by the use of the Internet, buses for travel and private transport.
Location, topographical features, and climate. The community of Century Village is located in the southwestern part of Florida in the Palm Beach County and is close to Florida Turnpike (“South Florida’s Best Retirement Value,” 2016). The territory is a few miles from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Most areas in the community are flat and have various golf courses. Additionally, one can see the scenic water views while walking in the region.
“Century Village Population” (2014) indicates that the average high temperature in January is 74.60 degrees Fahrenheit whereas the average high temperature in July is 89.90 degrees Fahrenheit. Conversely, the average low temperature in January is 56.80 degrees Fahrenheit while the average low temperature in July is 75.50 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the U.S. climate data (2016), the mean annual precipitation is 62.41 inch.
Boundaries and Area in Square Miles
Century Village in West Palm Beach County has a land territory of 1.00 square miles (“Century Village Florida,” 2016). The area covered by the water is 0.1 square miles. Thus, the total area of Century Village is 1.1 square miles. The boundary of the community to the east is the Toll Road; the Haverhill road borders it to the west, and the Okeechobee Road is to the south. The Falkirk Street forms the boundary of the community to the north.
Sanitation. The community has embraced proper sanitation since the environments in most homes do not have visible litter. The Department of Public Utilities (2016) ascertains that it ensures adequate water supply in all houses of the Century Village. In addition, the community dwellers employ sewage contractors who move across the village cleaning sewers to ensure cleanliness of the households.
Pollutants. Several lagoons in the community have algae-laden waters, which a great number of the community members consider a health risk. One of the community dwellers informed that the algae started growing in the waters at a faster rate when fertilizers were discharged in Lake Okeechobee. However, the air and soil are not contaminated.
Air quality, food supply. The air condition in the community has no odor and is colorless as well as free from particles. Food supply is adequate among the village dwellers. A member of the community announced that they purchase their food in Walgreens store, South Eastern Food Supply, Century Village Club House, and Gordon Food Service Store among others. The food supply is nutritionally complete and clean; however, the intake of the balanced diet depends on factors such as income level and food preference.
Potential disaster and the extent of disaster preparation. Some of the disasters that the community is likely to face are tropical storms and floods (“Century Village Florida,” 2016). Moreover, the residents indicate that fire is a potential disaster due to its frequent occurrence. According to Friedman (2011), community members of Century Village in West Palm Beach are prepared to handle disasters in various ways. Some of the ways include being aware of the potential disasters such as the hurricanes and fires, having efficient systems of communication, and practicing their plans as many times as possible. However, not all residents are committed to disaster preparedness. In addition, condominium associations are trained to prevent and handle disasters.
Type of housing, condition of housing, percent owned, rented, and housing for special populations. The majority of the community residents own houses. A great number of houses and condominiums are still on sale for the incoming citizens. They are built in different configurations and vary in size. Some residents state that the houses and condominiums are resistant to inclement weather. Moreover, 9% to 12% of the residents live in rented houses (“Apartments,” 2016). It is indicated that the state owns approximately 35% of the homes (“Century Village Florida,” 2016). Homeless and near homeless people live together in the state-owned shelters. In addition, the government provides some senior citizens with houses in which they live.
Leading Industries and Occupations
The transport industry, health care, and property management are some of the leading industries within the community. They also provide employment to the residents. One of the citizens informed that Petsmart and Winn-Dixie companies are the top employers for young people within the community.
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The People of the Community
Total population, population density and population changes in the last ten years. The United States Census Bureau (n.d) indicates that the entire population for the 2010 census was 29, 156. The male population was 13, 717 whereas the female one was 15,439. Since the land area is 1.0 square miles and the total population is 29,156, the population density is 29,156 per square mile. According to the United States Census Bureau (n.d), the population by the year 2000 was 7,616; while in the 2010 census, it was 29,156. The increase in population is due to the senior citizens who continue entering the community after retiring.
Mobility and types of families. More people, particularly the seniors, migrate to Century Village than those who are moving out. Thus, the population of the community keeps increasing. Most seniors live alone without families. However, the community has few nuclear families.
Biological Considerations and Demographic Population Characteristics
Age composition and sex distribution. According to “Century Village Population” (2014), the median age in Century Village community is 45.09 years. “Century Village” (2016) informs that most citizens are over 65 years old. The second largest group is the middle-aged population, namely between 45 to 65 years, which constitutes 16.50% of the residents. Currently, the female population is 63.9% while the male one is 36.1% (“Century Village,” 2016).
Race and ethnicity distribution. According to the United States Census Bureau (n.d), the 2010 census indicates that the dominant race in Century Village is Caucasian, which stands at 87.60%. Statistics from “Century Village” (2016) signify that the community has 6.8% African-Americans. Asians, native Americans, multiracial, native Hawaiian, and unspecified ethnic groups live in Century Village though in small numbers and are distributed across the region.
Mortality characteristics and cause-specific death rate. No current statistics exist regarding the annual birth rate, infant mortality rate, age-specific death rate, and maternal mortality in Century Village, West Palm Beach County, FL. However, according to Florida Department of Health (2012, p. 55), Palm Beach County, including Century Village, has an annual birth rate of 10.7 per 1000 population. The crude death rate regarding cardiovascular diseases is 175.3 deaths per 100,000 populations, poisoning is 14.9, motor vehicle crashes is 10.5, accidental falls is 146, and drowning is 2.3 per 100,000 populations (Florida Department of Health, 2012, p. 177). Infant mortality rate is 5.6 deaths per 1000 live births (Florida Department of Health, 2012, p. 60).
Leading causes of morbidity, incidence, and prevalence rates. According to the Department of Health (2012, p.114), the leading causes of morbidity in Century Village community are cardiovascular diseases and cancer. They are responsible for more than 6.6% of the deaths. Obesity is also a significant problem since over 65% of the residents suffer from this ailment.
Significant historical events and future economic prospects. According to Luxner (2014), Century Village was constructed after the World War II when senior citizens started pondering retirement. Irwin Levy developed the early Century Village, and senior citizens the majority of which were the Jews started buying the property in the region. Other developers joined to the process of the community construction, and thereafter, most retired people have inhabited the area making the average age higher. “Century Village” (2016) provides an economic profile, which indicates that a great number of families have an income of below $25,000. Most citizens are not of the working age, and many people coming to the area are retirees. However, the economic future of the region is likely to rise due to new investors and buyers of property in the community.
Communication, suicide, and homicides. Formal communication in the area happens on radios, televisions, and official sites on the Internet. Largely, the community dwellers communicate informally using social media. No official data exist regarding suicides and homicides to distinct populations in Century Village. However, after visiting the community, the residents stated that there were few suicide cases.
Protective services and common sources of stress. The community has adequate security resulting in the low crime rate. Other protective services include shelters for the homeless and various communication systems such as reporting any form of child or adult abuse to the site, reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us. While interviewing several people in the community, the old ones were worried of the non-communicable diseases that are associated with old age such as Diabetes Mellitus. Few young adults complained of the high rental costs of the condominiums.
Socioeconomic status. The average income per family is $42,827 (“Century Village Population,” 2014). The majority of inhabitants are aged; however, the minorities work in the transport and healthcare industries to care for the seniors. The Florida Department of Health (2012) indicates that the estimated unemployment rate is 8.8%. The United States Census Bureau (n.d) estimates that 14.9% of the citizens live in poverty. Additionally, it is challenging to determine the actual percentage of the retired people since the new ones above the age of 65 years old continue to inhabiting the community.
Educational level, religious distribution, marriage, language. According to “Century Village Population,” (2014), 51.8% of the residents have at least a high school education, 37.7% are married, and less than 20% are divorced. Most people in the community are Christians as the presence of churches in the area suggests. Another religion is Muslim, and, thus, there are few mosques in the community. The official language of communication is English. However, other languages such as German, Russian, Hebrew, Hungarian, Polish, and Italian are spoken in the community.
Government. The community is under the leadership of West Palm Beach. The current mayor is Jeri Muoio who is in charge of several departments. The offices, including city attorney, city commission, finance department, and fire rescue among others, are located along Clematis Street. They operate from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (West Palm Beach, 2016). The city government has offered contacts to the office services on its site for easy accessibility to the government services.
Education and services for special populations. The community has a limited number of schools due to the higher percentage of the older generation. Some public schools are situated near Century Village, including Niagara Catholic District School and Wheatley School. The nearest library is Okeechobee Boulevard Branch. No services exist for pregnant teens or children with developmental problems. However, the community has shelters for the senior citizens who cannot take adequate care of themselves.
Few people in the community use private transportation. However, many dwellers use busses for transportation to access various services in the city and public transport to move across the community.
The supply of food is adequate in the community from various food stores, and people take food according to their preferences. However, several nutritional consultants are to assist the older generation in choosing their diet. They report that fewer senior citizens seek advice on diet. The community members interviewed informed that they spend their free time with other seniors sharing life experiences. The health facilities that were visited reported that the seniors engage in risky sexual behavior resulting in a high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Health System Considerations
The community has various health facilities that provide medical and nursing services. Some of them include Century Village Medical Center, Lakeside Green Nursing Home, and Gramercy Park Nursing Home among others. Currently, the health facilities are committed to provide the best medical and nursing care to the residents. Several dieticians, physical therapists, dermatologists, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) treatment services are readily available to the citizens of Century Village. However, the community does not provide an efficient help for the seniors in preventing the STDs and the latter do not utilize the health centers effectively since they do not seek advice on proper health habits during old age. The county government facilitates the funding of the public health facilities while individuals and private owners fund the private medical and nursing services.
Located in the southwestern part of Florida, Century Village in West Palm Beach County mainly consists of senior citizens. In spite of the high influx of the retirees, few middle-aged people, and young people live in the area. The community does not have many schools due to the limited number of people seeking education. Health wise, it has several nursing and medical facilities to address the problems of the seniors; however, the community members do not utilize the health services adequately. Therefore, healthcare providers, particularly nurses, should mobilize the efforts to reach out to the citizens in order to help prevent communicable infections such as various sexually transmitted diseases that have a high incidence in the community. Additionally, the community health nurses should facilitate the cleaning of rivers to prevent water contamination, which is a threat to the health of the citizens.
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