In the United States, the number of senior citizens has been on the increase. According to the United States Census Bureau (2015), 15.2% of Miami’s population comprises senior citizens aged above 65 years old. This places Miami as one of the cities in Florida with a high number of senior citizens. In this case, the aggregate under consideration includes old women in Grandmother’s Home Care Group Assisted Facility in Miami. They include women aged over 60 years and above. The following paper presents a nursing diagnosis to tackle the major health risks facing the aggregate and a disaster management plan.
The risk assessment in the facility established that the aggregate faces an increased risk of disease. This is because the people from other parts of the country may be affected by disease-causing organisms, which can also affect the members of the aggregate. For example, in the US, it is estimated that 1,185,000 people live with HIV infection. Florida is one of the leading states in the reported cases of HIV infections at 13% (Cianelli et al., 2013).
There are common assumptions that older people are not sexually active. However, Cianelli et al. (2013) noted that this is a misconception. The study conducted in Florida by Cianelli et al. (2013) established that 32% of women aged fifty years and above were infected with HIV. The other health risks include falls. Approximately 9,500 deaths in older Americans are associated with falls each year. In addition, annually, falls are reported by one-third of all people over the age of 65 years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).
Strategies to tackle the Health Risks
The strategy to tackle the issue of disease infection will entail lobbying for medical checkups and sensitization about the risks of disease infections. In cases of highly communicable diseases, the affected individuals must be given special attention and when necessary be secluded from the rest of the women in the facility. They should undergo different medical attention than the other women, to put them to the same health conditions as the other members of the aggregate.
On the other hand, the health risks that relate to falls can be tackled through the formation of family and community initiatives tasked with ensuring that the environment is conducive for elderly women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015), falls can be prevented by the initiation of programs to protect older adults at the family and community levels. The programs include elimination of hazards, clear walk paths, improved lighting, and regular exercise. Finally, older women should be educated to be mindful of medications (Cornell, Cusack & Arbon, 2012). This is because some medicines can have side effects such as drowsiness that can increase the likelihood of falling.
Disasters that Might Affect the Aggregate
Miami is situated at the mouth of the Miami River. Miami has a semi-tropical climate. It experiences long, warm summer that is characterized by abundant rainfall. The area is normally affected by hurricanes in September and October. Thus, the likely disasters include natural occurrences such as epidemics, tropical storms, and floods. The consequence of the disasters is normally injuries, disease, death, distress, fear, and anxiety (Laditka & Laditka, 2008). In the case of my aggregate, older people are more susceptible to falls.
Strategies for Handling the Disasters
Disasters normally cause disruption and destruction that result in human suffering, death, and injury. As a result, there is the need for effective strategies to ensure that the destructive nature of disasters is mitigated. Across the globe, it has become a priority to develop tools, practices, and processes to manage disasters. The strategies include the use of technology such as ICT to create awareness and to manage information, and the involvement of various groups of interests to create coalitions that help in handling the disasters. In the case of elderly women, the main strategy will be the formation of a coalition to respond to floods and storms. To ensure effectiveness, MAP-IT (Mobilize, Assess, Plan, Implement, and Track) approach will be applied.
The main goal of Healthy People 2020 is to improve the quality of life of people (Healthy People.gov, n.d.). This can be achieved by identifying the right partners to work with to promote health. Mobilization involves forming coalitions that have broad representation. Thus, the roles of all partners must be identified and responsibilities assigned. In the case of the aggregate, the partners will include disaster preparedness units, health professionals, elderly women, social workers, and research institutions. The key activities of the coalition will be to facilitate community inputs, present and educate the women, and provide technical assistance in the implementation of the comprehensive care plan in case of a disaster.
Assessing is the process of identifying the people affected by a disaster, the available resources, and the resources required. Assessment entails digging deeper to understand the social determinants of health such as how the physical environment affects health (Healthy People.gov, n.d.). Assessing helps to establish needs and in the prioritization process. In the determination of the priorities, the feasibility and effectiveness of the intervention are determined.
Planning entails setting clear goals, objectives, and outlining the strategies to achieve them. According to Laditka and Laditka (2008), the objectives should relate to the aggregate and the desired goal. However, the objectives should have a wider picture of supporting Healthy People 2020 to create a healthier nation. In this case, the goal is to mitigate the effects of tropical storms and floods by putting in place programs to ensure a fast and effective response in case older women are at risk.
The implementation phase starts with the creation of a work plan that describes the actions to be taken, the required steps, and the people responsible for each action. The action plan should include timelines for each activity. To ensure that the program runs as planned, a single point of contact should be identified to manage the processes. A communication system should also be put in place to ensure that suggestions and feedback are reviewed promptly. The communication plan will include meetings with all partners and a display of the accomplishments. In addition, it will include ICT tools to be used by the partners to make distress calls
Evaluation plays a critical role in establishing the progress of a program. Evaluation is used by program developers to investigate whether the set plan is being followed, what needs to be changed, and to determine whether the set goals have been achieved. The progress of the program and its success should be shared with the aggregate and the coalition members (Healthy People.gov, n.d.). In this case, the tracking will be carried out by partnering with a local university to do data tracking.
Recommendation for a Disaster Supplies Kit
To ensure effective preparedness, the disaster supplies kit should include a first aid kit, food, prescription medication, antibiotics, sterile dressing in case of falls that may cause bleeding, clean water, clothing, local map, lighting material, and a phone for sending alerts.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Older Persons’ Health. Web.
Cianelli, R., Villegas, N., Lawson, S., Ferrer, L., Kaelber, L., Peragallo, N., & Yaya, A. (2013). Unique factors that place older Hispanic women at risk for HIV: intimate partner violence, machismo, and marianismo. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 24(4), 341-354.
Cornell, V., Cusack, L., & Arbon, P. (2012). Older people and disaster preparedness. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 27(3), 1-7.
Healthy People.gov. (n.d.). MAP-IT: A Guide to Using Healthy People 2020 in Your Community. Web.
Laditka, S., & Laditka J. (2008). Disaster preparedness for vulnerable persons receiving in-home, long term care in South Carolina. Pre-hospital and Disaster Medicine, 23(2), 133-142.