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Community Health - Essay Example

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Summary
The concept of community is defined as an interaction of individuals in a common location or a group of people with common characteristics and goals which are living together within a society. Examples of a community may be a group of elderly people living together within a retirement village, or a group of families living together in a specific area who interact together (Ervin, 2002).
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Community Health
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Concept of Community Community The concept of community is defined as an interaction of individuals in a common location or a group of people with common characteristics and goals which are living together within a society. Examples of a community may be a group of elderly people living together within a retirement village, or a group of families living together in a specific area who interact together (Ervin, 2002).
Aggregate
The concept of an aggregate in terms of people is defined as a group of people who gather together and share a common interest. Examples of an aggregate may be a group of elderly people who meet together to interact but don't necessarily live together. A church group would also be an example of an aggregate (Clark, 2002).
Differentiation
There are some similarities between the two concepts of community and aggregate. Both are populations of people who are associated with each other and share some characteristics. However there are also differences between the two concepts. The largest difference is in the interaction between the two. An aggregate of people are a population who share a common interest, where those in a community do not necessarily share common interests, it is likely to be other factors which unite them. Both those in an aggregate and those in a community share common problems and often common goals. The difference between the two concepts is that those in an aggregate do not act together to realize these goals or solve their problems whereas those in a community do interact and work together in this pursuit (Undergraduate Curriculum Handbook, 2003).
Homeless people
An example of an aggregate within the community is homeless clients (Clark, 2002). There are many homeless people across America and there are many subdivisions within the aggregate. The aggregate could be considered in terms of various subgroups such as homeless children, homeless women, homeless immigrants and so forth. However they are usually considered overall under the aggregate of homeless people due to the common problems and goals which are generally shared by all (Kusmer, 2003).
There is no official federal definition of homelessness, which makes it difficult to calculate the extent of the problem in the US. However the general definition is usually taken to mean any individual who lacks a fixed and night-time residence or whose primary residence is a supervised public or private shelter. Current data suggests that there are anywhere between 600,000 and 2.5 million homeless in the US depending upon the definition which is taken. Therefore it can be seen that this aggregate is a significant proportion of the population (McCarty, 2005). The number of homeless people varies from area to area across America, with the highest concentrations being in urban areas. This is usually a result of the moves from industrialized to post-industrialized cities, where many manual workers lost their jobs in the mid to late 20th Century (Kusmer, 2003). The problems are shared among the members of the aggregate, with problems including lack of shelter, lack of money and lack of food. The aggregate is particularly vulnerable in terms of healthcare due to the lack of healthy lifestyle factors and lack of access to health care. The goals among homeless people are also shared, with the goal being to gain housing and access to other services which they do not currently have. However they are not considered a community as they do not usually work together to achieve these goals. Homeless people address their goals individually, with the help of external agencies (McCarty, 2005).
References
Clark, M-J. (2002) Community Health Nursing, 5th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Ervin, (2002) Advanced Community Health Nursing Practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Kusmer, K.L. (2003) Down and Out, on the Road: The Homeless in American History. New York: Oxford University Press.
McCarty, M. (2005) Homelessness: Recent Statistics, Targeted Federal Programs, and Recent Legislation. CRS Report for Congress, 31 May, 2005.
Undergraduate Curriculum Handbook (2003) South Dakota State University. Retrieved on October 26, 2007, from: http://learn.sdstate.edu/nursing/UGCurriculumHandbook.html. Read More
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