The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ (DOEA) developed the Elders Need Index (ENI) to help aging network partners strategically plan for targeting and serving areas with concentrations of vulnerable elders. The ENI is a composite index of population characteristics, presented in map format to denote the location and proportion of elders in vulnerable groups throughout Florida.
The ENI map allows the user a wide range of customizability to meet the specific needs of their area and assists professional services planners, agency directors, and policy makers in estimating the areas of the state with the highest concentration of seniors in risk categories and highest need for assistance from the aging network.
Each of the factors included in the ENI relies upon the percentage of occurrence in the older adult population in that area. The variables used to build the ENI follow the expressed intent of the Older Americans Act as amended in 2016 to target elder populations that are either racially, socially, or culturally isolated, in poverty, or disabled. Specifically, the ENI is a composite measure that includes the following:
- the percent of the 60 and older population who are age 85 and older,
- the percent of the 55 and older population who are members of racial or ethnic minority groups,
- the percent of the 65 and older population with one or more disabilities, and
- the percent of the 55 and older population living below 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
The ENI and additional factor files provide a package of maps that rank geographical areas according to the characteristics of the resident elder population, based on data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year estimates, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. (Note: The factor maps are based on different populations, so only one map can be viewed at a time.) ENI maps should open and look like this (PSA 4 and state level view, examples):