The concept of health promotion is thought of as "the science and art of helping people change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health" (Dunphy et al., 2011, p 25). Serious heart conditions can be prevented, which is why it is so important to utilize community education techniques in order to help try to warn community members of the complications before they occur. This current lesson plan works to create three separate community lesson plans, based on specific age ranges. The age 18-29 focuses primarily on the use of social media and health advocacy efforts in association with the American Heart Association. For ages 30-49, there is also a focus on these two, combined with more community oriented issues, and for 50-60, there is much more of a focus on financial training along with community organized workshops.
Prevention has become a major issue in healthcare recently. Efforts to try to minimize lifestyle risks that could lead to greater consequences have been being implemented on a local and national level. Essentially, "modifiable risk factors include weight, diet, social habits, lifestyle choices, and stress reduction" (Dunphy et al., 2011, p 27). Making lifestyle changes, especially in regard to diets, is a huge way to reduce risk factors of issues like Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Hypertension. This must include working with patients with risk factors, but also those who have already been diagnosed to prevent any further damage from occurring. According to the research, "focusing on primary prevention enables providers to assess patients' potential risk factors including lifestyle and genetic history; and to help them make lifestyle changes that will foster health and prevent disease and disability" (Dunphy et al., 2011, p 26). Yet, these changes are still progressive even for patients who have been diagnosed with CAD or hypertension already and who want to prevent the condition from deteriorating.
Many prevention programs have worked with community resources to best implement prevention strategies within the lives of a variety of individuals. Thus, these lessons will also focus on using the community as a partner and incorporating interdisciplinary assistance from other professionals. In such a strategy, "clinicians can take a leadership position within a community by developing targeted programs for early identification and treatment" (Dunphy et al., 2011, p 27). Thus, there are resources broken down by age group and the type of prevention methods used. There are clear differences among the age groups, based on their developmental progress and needs as according to theories from Erik Erikson. Here, the research states that "Erikson suggests that there is still plenty of room for continued growth and development throughout one's life" (McLeod, 2010). This means that all through early to late adulthood, individuals can implement changes that could lead to a better quality of life.
Preventative measures are crucial in today's world, where unfortunately, CAD and hypertension are rampant. According to the research, "about 1 in 3 adults in the United States -- an estimated 68 million -- have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, and only 46% have it adequately controlled" (Community Preventative Services Task Force, 2012). With high blood pressure being so related to future chronic cardiac conditions and stroke, it is crucial that preventative health education programs aim to bring greater awareness about blood pressure and how to manage it. Additionally, CAD and hypertension can lead to ongoing cardiac complications that may ultimately lead to death.
Age Group 18-29
This age group is within the Intimacy vs. Isolation stage of Erikson's developmental stages. Individuals of this age range need love and support from those around them to be able to flourish. During this time period, "we explore relationships leading toward longer term commitments with someone other than a family member" (McLeod, 2010). Thus, there is a sense where individuals are beginning to open up and trust their social networks. Once this occurs, there is greater influence from these networks on the individual. Moreover, "a strong sense of personal identity was important for developing intimate relationships" (Cherry, 2012). Thus, there are already strong representations of individual identities to the social sphere. All of these can be used to tailor preventative training techniques.
On the primary level, it is all about exposing these individuals to knowledge and resources for their heart health. Heart concerns may be new to this group, and so it is important to get to work early on teaching better lifestyle and eating habits. Health and nutrition education modeling a healthy lifestyle can be done through using Web 2.0 tools such as Youtube. Videos expressing the dangers of life long smoking and poor diet habits can be shared among group members, with individuals encouraged to make their own video responses to actively display their own unique identities. Moreover, Facebook groups should be established in order to be able to post the latest news and information on heart health, as well as to allow individuals to network with physicians and healthcare professionals. Weekly chat groups can feature different health professionals discussing nutrition and health information, with a fitness resource shared amongst the group as well. Social media marketing campaigns are a powerful tool among this age group. Thus, programs can focus on using social media campaigns can help capitalize on the age group's developmental tendencies for "exploring personal relationships" (Cherry, 2012).
Blood pressure checks can be conducted within the community by reaching out to the American Heart Association. The Check, Change, Control program is a community outreach program that goes on the move, helping individuals check their blood pressure for free at various public sites around the United States (American Heart Association, 2014). According to the AHA, "Local volunteer health mentors are recruited and trained to encourage you to monitor your blood pressure and stay consistent with your plan. With blood pressure monitoring available at no cost in many pharmacies, healthcare facilities and fire stations, anyone can easily find out their blood pressure numbers," (American Heart Association, 2014). For this age group, the most time an individual spends is at work. Thus, for implementing blood pressure checks, common work environments could be sought out for blood pressure check events. This means hitting up offices and plazas near the downtown area, where the majority of business districts are concentrated. This way, young adults can get access to blood pressure checks and advice from real nurses and volunteers working with the American Heart Association without having to take time off of work.
Moreover, working with already published online software programs can be implemented for group members as well. Thus, the program will use Heart 360 online to augment social media campaigns. According to the website, "Heart360® is an easy-to-use tool which helps you understand and track the factors that affect your heart health - including blood pressure, physical activity, cholesterol, glucose, weight and medications. Heart360® safely and securely stores your information in Microsoft® HealthVault™" (Heart 360, 2014). This will allow users to start their own profile and track their progress with their physicians and other resources.
For all individuals who prove to have a CAD diagnosis, Lipitor is a great option. It is proven to lower cholesterol levels and thus prevent heart attack and stroke for patients with hypertension and other cardiac issues (Black et al., 1998). It is best when risk factors are seen early, but should only be used within this group if there is clear risk signs indicated, as physicians might not want patients on such a drug for the rest of their lives. For hypertension, Lisinopril would be most effective.
Age Group 30-49
This age group is still in Intimacy vs. Isolation till the age of 40. Thus, they "lead to comfortable relationships and a sense of commitment, safety, and care within a relationship" (McLeod, 2010). Many of the similar strategies used for the previous group can still be used here. However, the Generativity vs. Stagnation stage goes from 40 to 65. Within this stage, "we establish our careers, settle down within a relationship, begin our own families and develop a sense of being a part of the bigger picture" (McLeod, 2010). Thus, this is a crucial time to take advantage of the individual's increasing desire to work with the community. Community prevention strategies will ultimately be more successful in this age group. Moreover, "early signs of chronic disease surface in midlife or between 40 and 65 years" (Dunphy et al., 2011, p 25). Thus, it is crucial to get individuals tested and screened in this age range more so than in the previous age group.
Similar social media marketing techniques will ne used here. Youtube fitness and nutrition videos will also be used for this age group. However, there will be a greater reliance on email groups compared to Facebook, although there will still be some social media used for sharing videos and news articles. Smoking counseling to help individuals quit will also is offered based on the individual's location. For membership into…