According to available statistics, Los Angeles, California is ranked as the second most densely inhabited city in the United States of America. In 2009, the Census Bureau estimated that the city of Los Angeles had approximately 4. 06 million people. Some of the reasons argued for it dense population is that it is a major city of a metropolitan area stretching from Ventura city in the North, San Clemente in the South, and San Bernardino in the East.
The city and its surrounding have for a long time enjoyed persistent economic diversity and population growth. In an exhibit from the United States Census Bureau, the city of Los Angeles was recorded to having an average annual growth rate of 1. 07% whereas the county of the same city had an annual growth rate of 0. 89%. The entire state of California had an annual growth rate of 1. 08%. In comparison to 2008, the city of Los Angeles, the county of Los Angeles, and the California state had annual growth rates of 0.66%, 0. 25%, and 0. 86% correspondingly.
This is a evidences a persistent population growth rate in California (United States Census Bureau). Davis and Johnson (2003) in their report note two distinct trends that characterize the demographic growth of the entire California state. First, there is rapid aging of its population. He notes that in Los Angeles, California, there are over 3. 5 million individuals above the age of sixty-five and this number represents the biggest senior adult population in the whole state.
According researchers, the age group has been estimated to significantly rise to approximately 4. 5 million residents by the end of year 2010 and this will mark an increase of 23% since year 2000. Secondly, there is heightened ethnic and racial diversity in California. Currently, there is no particular ethnic group that represents a sizeable proportion of the state’s population. More than a quarter of the residents in California are immigrants and this can be correlated to Los Angeles strategic geographic location as earlier mentioned.
The authors note that a big percentage of the aging population is continuing to diversify and by the next few decades, majority of senior people will be from ethnic groups considered to be minority currently In this regard, the report continues to state to state that currently cancer, coronary heart diseases, and stroke accounts for bout 61% of total annual deaths in the entire California state. Whereas death rates from stroke heart related diseases have reduced noticeably, the rate of cancer occurrence has remained fairly constant.
Nevertheless, with such a large number of aging populations, Alzheimer’s disease and additional dementias represents significantly increasingly prevailing conditions among the older adults. Subsequently, the report states that an estimated 10% of individuals aged sixty-five years and above and 47% of individuals aged eighty-five years and above, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease in California alone. Although the disease is the most prevalent form of dementia, the correlated prevalence of the others cannot be ignored.
A lot of medical research especially in Los Angeles has established that Hispanic and African American seniors are more predisposed the disease risk (Davis & Johnson, 2003). Considering the rates of population growth in particular that of the aging population in California, there is and will be increased need for services and number of health care personnel now and in future. Such challenges are in the area of public health and private medical enterprises, shortages and lack of adequate training within the currents health workforce.
The report states that more than 50% of the United States public health personnel in California are above 50 years of age. Besides, ‘44% of CDC’s and 54% of NIH’s’ biologists and physicians are eligible to retiring in the next five years. Hence, this signals a shortage of health care personnel in coming years. Care for this aging population in terms of psychiatry for mental disorders and physical therapy is unavoidable in the coming years (Public Health Education and the University Of California, 2004).
In anticipation and preparation of unforeseen challenges, a legislative act –SB 639- was enacted and signed into law by the California governor in October 2002. The law ‘requires the California Health and Human Services Agency to develop a strategic plan for improving access to mental health services for treatable mental health conditions in persons with AD and other related disorders’ (Davis & Johnson, 2003). References Davis, G. & Johnson, G. (2003, January 1).
California Health and Human services Agency: Improving Access to Mental Health services for Persons with Alzheimer’s disease And Related Disorders. Retrieved July 13, 2010 from http://www. aging. ca. gov/publications/SB639_final. pdf. Public Health Education and the University Of California (2004, April). Final Report of the Health Sciences Committee. Retrieved July 13, 2010 from http://sph. ucdavis. edu/documents/UCOP_PHreport_2004. pdf United States Census Bureau for 1980, 1990 and 2000. Retrieved July 13, 2010 from http://quickfacts. census. gov/qfd/states/06000. html