Paper Assignment: Brockton Community Overview

8 pages
1951 words
Middlebury College
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Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) is non-profit human services agency that provides crucial services for the promotion of safe and healthy living conditions the elderly. It is on a mission to enhance support, respect, and protect the dignity of the elderly as well as giving them independence through the provision of essential services and information in their quest for living a quality and healthy life. OCES serves as a privilege entry point for individuals, elders, caregivers, families, and healthcare professionals who desire access to services, community resources and programs that are essential for the elderly. I have been a social worker with OCES for a couple of years, and I have seen it assist people to receive crucial services. Most of these people are ill, frail, and have a low income insufficient for them to acquire basic needs.

My client lives in a wooded suburban area in the town of Brockton, Massachusetts. I observed a white old male who lives alone in a rented home in a bad condition because there is a lot of dirt in the house, undone laundry and tall grasses around the house. Because of the condition of the house, this man needed urgent assistance from OCES to assist him with personal needs that are vital for him to live a healthy life. This client is in need of transportation to and from the Alcohol Anonymous meetings in the Brockton area and requires home care services to enable him live a dignified life.

When I met my client, I saw an old man with a fringe-gray white hair around his bald. He had a strange appearance with a wizened, dry face. He appeared sad, with his eyes way worn and a rather distinctive beard. He was lying in bed when I arrived in his house, with food from the previous night scattered on the floor. He encounters problems while walking up and down stairs, poor balance when standing, and falls a lot. He told me that he had no one to help him get up, and he at most times struggles out of bed to relieve himself, but sometimes soils his bedding because he is weak. I saw a resigned look that indicated that at his age, his life had stopped giving but only takes away anything offered. The room is poorly lit and not well ventilated, a clear indication of a deplorable condition that my client lives in.

Despite this, Brockton has a tranquil neighborhood free from noise. This neighborhood is woody and is undisturbed for the most of the time I spent there. There are trees in almost the entire Brockton area, with well-furnished houses that indicated affluent living. Each home in the area has trees outside, and the environment is conducive to live in, which offered a comfortable life. There are a few cars on the well-maintained roads leading to this area, with speed limits posted in strategic areas. This has significantly reduced air pollution and highway congestion. I also noticed that Brockton is a pedestrian-friendly because there are well-maintained pavements that are utilized pedestrians and the lawns are well kept. The neighborhood is dense, and amenities are close to the inhabitants such that people reach them by foot.

Brockton has attracted people of different races living together in harmony. It is an ethnically diverse area with the people of various racial and ethnic groups (Benson, 2010). There are a large number of whites and African-Americans. There are also other groups such as Hispanics who have a sizable population as well as Cape Verdis. The racial diversity in Brockton is because of the ancestries who lived in this town years back such as Haitians, Irish, Italians and English (Lecapois, 2015). These people live together in peace and have given Brockton a good name. While walking around the neighborhood, I liked it quite well because it is clean, quiet and people are friendly.

Housing in Brockton is widely distributed all over the area. According to the United States Census Bureau, Brockton has the largest percentage of homes which were built in the early 1930s. Brockton has a large number of white housing who are either renting or owning a home. There are a lot of people irrespective of its ethnic backgrounds who own houses here. Contrastively, Brockton is one of the towns in the United States with a large number of the population who have occupied rented houses. These houses are divided into units occupied by people ranging from mobile homes, detached units, and those with fifty or more units. Both homeowners and renters move out of their homes in Brockton. Having a home does not mean staying there because even those who own homes are sometimes on the lookout for new houses.

I found out that the source of energy in the majority of these houses is utility gas, but some households used electricity and bottled, tank or LP gas. Apart from the affluent neighbors, there is low-income housing for those who cannot afford expensive homes. For instance, there are low rent houses developed by the Public Housing Development which consists of several rentals. In these houses, I was told that when one is interested in living here, there are eligibility requirements, waiting list status, application procedures and the number of the people on the waiting list. Some apartments in this area are pegged on the income earned by the individual hence it is subsidized.

There are numerous private and public schools in Brockton city. There are 24 public schools which provide education to not only American students but also those from countries such as Brazil, Cape Verde, Haiti and several Spanish speaking countries. Because students come from different areas, Brockton public schools have one of the most diverse populations of students offering quality education to all the students, which include learners of English language. Its annual budget of $222,117,405 is relatively lower than $1 billion wired to Boston public schools.

Brocton has a diverse ethnic makeup. The population is mostly white, but there are other inhabitants such as Hispanics and African-Americans who co-exist in peace with the natives. It is a less segregated town than most cities in the United States with a minority of the population living in the neighborhood having a mixture of race and ethnic inclination. There are specialty stores, restaurants, and services started by the community which adds the diversity. Despite this, new facilities and services are required for the people with special needs so that they are accommodated based on their cultural traditions. There are several people with special needs with the elderly being their majority while others include the homeless and the disabled.

Brockton has an interesting socioeconomic makeup. Majority of the people are blue-collar community with pockets of affluence seen by grand housing in some parts of the city. There are households headed by females and languish in poverty. Income differs significantly with those in affluent neighborhood earning more than those who live in rural parts of Brockton. It has programs that assist residents in getting employment and subsequent paychecks that help in paying bills. There is a conducive business environment that has allowed the expansion and the startup of new businesses. The income generated from taxes are used in the investments that improve the quality of life such as education systems, improved safety, and efficient transportation systems.

Medical centers are crucial in the provision of healthcare for all the members of the Brockton community. Some hospitals provide a range of services such as rehabilitation, long-term care, respite, hospice and skilled nursing. There are a few clinics offer free medical care or service at a reduced rate. There are at least six clinics that provide free care for people who do not have any insurance or are from low-income backgrounds. I found that these hospitals are ideal for the elderly because they have encountered the loss of utility services, bank foreclosure, credit issues, and financial exploitation since they have lost the knowledge to pay their bills, and depend on the state for the provision of medical care. These clinics provide a range of services paid by grants from the federal government, state subsidies or are under the operation of non-governmental organizations.

In addition to free medical centers, Brockton city offers smooth public transport to its inhabitants. The transportation in the city is in the form of buses, trains, and commuter rails which make the city easily accessible, clean and affordable. The city also offers Dial-A-Bat, which is the first major successful coordinated transportation program by the public transport agency purposely considered for the disabled and the elderly. It serves these groups in several areas, and all is needed is for an elderly is to Dial-A-Bat and arrange a trip. The fare for the elderly and the disabled are discounted with a person over 65 years paying $2.50 every day if traveling within the same community and $3.50 from one community to another.

The marital status of the city is mixed. According to TownCharts, 41 percent of the population above 15 years are never married followed by those who are married with children and are living together, but some people married and separated. Furthermore, other people have never married despite attaining the age suitable for marriage. Despite the marriage, there are cases where people are divorced because of irreconcilable differences between the spouses. Because of the eventualities in life, some widows are living with their children. Data shows that a husband and wife headed families stands at 54 percent while those headed by the wife alone is 35 percent which is considerably higher than 10 percent families headed by the husband alone (TownCharts, 2016).

The general impression from the data I collected from the field is that Brockton community is an ethnically diverse neighborhood where people of different backgrounds live together in harmony. My client was a white male living alone in a suburban area in Brockton, Massachusetts. I found out that the elderly male lives in a condition that requires assistance from Old Colony Elderly Services regarding housing, cleanliness, and the general living conditions. The client had difficulty while waking up and standing as well as poor balancing. From my observation, the elderly male needs immediate care so that he may live a quality life. The neighborhood is clean, but the client had been abandoned and in deplorable condition. OCES should, therefore, step in immediately and assist him.

The data I collected from the field is massive, and it will serve a great importance to the overall roles played by OCES in the improvement of their services to the less fortunate people in the society. This data will go a long way in the implementation of programs for the disable and the elderly by OCES and will be instrumental in the provision of healthcare to them. It will also assist the old people who are not institutionalized to receive essential daily activities such as bathing, use of a toilet, transfer from chair to bed, and eating as well as home management activities such as household chores, meals, and money handling. Moreover, this experience has been an eye-opener for me because I have gained insightful experience and knowledge on how to handle the elderly at their most vulnerable state.

Brockton provides a range of a goodness fit between the needs of the client and the available resources in the city. The community provides some of the client's needs, and this makes the life of the client easy. For instance, there is a match between the transportation needs of the client in the city and what is provided in return. The city has a system of transport that suits the elderly. Dial-A-Bat makes it possible for the elderly to see a doctor, visit friends anywhere in the Brockton city and go shopping....

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