The effects and changes in population demographics of Encino, California, a small neighborhood of San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, has an overwhelming influence on health service needs as the elderly population structure increases. Encino is situated in the central portion of the southern San Fernando Valley and on the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains with Sherman Oaks, Bel-Air, and Brentwood as neighboring towns. The town of Encino consists of affluent, well educated, and older-aged residents with a relatively high proportion of white population compared with the city at large.
Forty-six percent of Encino residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by the year 2000 whereas the older population held a master’s degree or higher. The percentage of the well-educated residents in Encino is high for L. A. County. The local economy provides jobs primarily in health care, social services, and professional services. Encino is considered as the financial district of the San Fernando Valley.
Furthermore, the town has a high ratio of military veterans. According to the U. S. Census Bureau (2013), military veterans amounted 10.6% of the population. It represented a much higher rate of veteran population in Los Angeles County. On the other hand, the median age for residents was 42 years old in 2000, which is considered old for city and county neighborhoods. In addition, the percentages of residents aged 50 and older were among L. A. County’s highest. The income level of Encino residents were considered high comparing to other cities in Los Angeles County. The average household size consists of two people with a yearly household income from $78,529 to $125,000 in 2008.
The Significance of its Aging Population in HealthCare The demand for hospital services is more extreme in this neighborhood. Because of the increase of the elderly population, the need for a nearby long term facilities such as nursing homes and sub-acute units have also risen. With the elderly likely to be admitted in a hospital, longer lengths of stays and readmission rates was the reason of the area community hospital’s downfall in 2008, losing $1. 5 million per month from 2006 to mid 2008 prior to being sold to Prime Healthcare Foundation.
Weiner and Tilly (2002) explained the ageing population: Like the rest of the world, the US is an ageing society. Between 2000 and 2050, the number of older people is projected to increase by 135%. Moreover, the population aged 85 and over, which is the group most likely to need health and long-term care services, is projected to increase by 350%. Over this time period, the proportion of the population that is over the age of 65 will increase from 12. 7% in 2000 to 20. 3% in 2050; the proportion of the population that is age 85 and older will increase from 1. 6% in 2000 to 4.8% in 2050 (p. 776).
Aspects The Encino neighborhood is not considered an, especially ethnical diverse community within Los Angeles. The community has a high percentage of white residents. According to the U. S. Bureau of Census (2013), the Whites consisted of 80. 1%, Latinos at 8. 5%, Asians at 4. 9%, blacks at 2. 4%, and others, 4. 1%. Additionally, Iran at 30. 1% and Russia at 6. 4% were the most common places of birth for the 32. 8% of the residents who were born abroad. Genetics, ethnicity, and cultural background affect the use of health care services in the area.
Certain cultural practices can also have unexpected effects on health care. In Encino, there are many celebrity residents and most residents are very conscious of their physical appearance. Practices such as extreme dieting is common among the residents wherein the community often treats anorexia and bulimia in the community clinics and hospitals. Due to the nature of affluent and well-educated population of Encino, California, residents can afford to eat healthy and are more cognizant of a healthy lifestyle.
According to Cynthia Moleno, RD (personal communication, September 10, 2013) Director of Food and Nutrition at Encino Hospital Medical Center (EHMC), most of the elderly patients who are admitted in the community hospital only prefer to eat low-fat and often request for organic fruits and vegetables if possible. Moreover, 75% of residents are practicing the Jewish faith, therefore, pork, which we all know can cause many cardiac problems, and other non-kosher food products are not a part of their diet. Implications The health care industry will suffer as a result of an aging population.
The situation will create stress to all health care providers and payers like never before and will impact all health care organizations. The aging population of Encino, California, will require focus on chronic diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD, Osteoporosis, Congestive Heart Failure or CHF, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Encino Hospital Medical Center admissions consist of 80% elderly patients. Most of the patients who come through the Emergency Room are elderly patients suffering from acute pneumonia, Urinary Tract Infection, and CHF.
EHMC had identified that there is a need for mental health services for elderly. Many patients are admitted in the Geriatric-Psychiatric ward of the hospital with diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. According to Bockhi Park, CEO (personal communication, September 10, 2013) the Gero-Psych ward is always full and as a preparation for the aging population in the area, they are expanding the unit and adding more beds. They plan to continue and expand outreach and communication regarding option for minimizing stress, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, EHMC have a sub-acute unit for long-term care patients.
The waiting list for the sub-acute unit in EHMC is significantly large. Many nursing homes in the area have opened up, including the Jewish Home for the aged. There is s a big need for nursing homes and assisted living in the area. Many health care organizations in the area are already struggling creating a better access to care. Cost and Marketing It is necessary for the local area health care organizations to provide awareness of the needs of the community. It is important to provide community support and education to help consumers and family members aware of the options for the elderly population of their health care needs.
The health care changes coming into effect in 2014 will have a great financial impact on everyone. Payments for services will change from pay-for-service to outcome-based. The affluent population will not be affected as much in regard to payments but the availability of heath care services will be their main concern. Conclusion Health care organizations are gearing up their preparation to meet the needs of the aging population in the U. S. Health care providers understand that an increasingly aging population will be a challenge in the future. Hospitals are actively trying new services and finding new ways to meet the future needs.
Nearby hospitals in Encino, California, are extending their orthopedics department for hip and knee replacement surgery. A few challenges of the aging population includes shifts in the delivery of long-term care services, care-giving patterns, options for living arrangements, and managed care programs for the elderly. Finally, as the aging population increases, more Medicare patients are eligible. Additionally, as the regulations of the health care reform are implemented, reimbursement rates will continue to decline and will pressure the providers even more.