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Health Care for The Aged

Health care involved the aspects of clinical practice while working with the clients, involving the families in the hospital settings and in the aged care residents. Today this has changed and health care professionals now focus on services that continually provide services that have the evidence of necessity, efficiency and are cost effective. This not only involves just assisting the client but must show evidence of therapeutic gain which is obtained with the least possible cost and financial support. This means that the aged care provided must be socially acceptable, therapeutically effective and must be evident in the positive difference it brings to a clients life. The health care services offered should be patient centered to ensure that they add value to the quality of an aged person’s life (Dziegielewski, 2003).n This paper will discuss on the various management strategies that can be applied in the provision of health care services to ensure that patient’s individual interests, customs and beliefs, cultural and ethnic backgrounds are valued and fostered.
Management strategies for quality healthcare in aged care environments
            According to Jeon & Fethney (2012), uniqueness and individualizing the needs of each resident is an important aspect in promoting better health care for the aged. This calls for a keen interest by health care providers to ensure that they know the people in the residents. They should learn about their history their religion and the culture as well. This can be achieved by simply moving around the resident and socializing with the residents to familiarize themselves with the patients that they work with. This gives a balance between the time that managers take while working with the residents and while working with information. The tendency for health care providers to concentrate on the medical histories and other data about the patient leaves out the personal relationship that healthcare providers should have with the residents. Interacting more with the residents also gives the residents an opportunity to socialize with one another. Through socializing with the health care providers, they get an opportunity to express their fears and concerns. They learn each others experiences and gain more confidence to face their health and physical challenges. The care giver should provide aspect of care with the evidence of psychosocial and empathetic needs that residents require. This should also be extended to the resident’s relatives to give them a sense of acceptance and belonging (Healy, 2011; Brown, 1992).
Insomnia is a major complaint from the aged residents and is caused by medical and geriatric factors. It is also caused by behavioral and environmental factors which can easily be avoided to minimize sleep disturbance. To ensure that t the resident’s sleep needs are met, it is necessary to introduce practices that promote more sleep during the night. These include; stretching the time period that the residents spent in sunlight exposure, limiting the time spent in bed during the day for the patients who can move around and providing more involving physical activities. These practices will limit the duration spent while sleeping during the day; thus, they are likely to sleep more during the night. These should be integrated in the resident’s program to ensure that the health care providers offer the services consistently for them to be effective (Ouslander, 2006). The environmental factors can also be intervened toby individualizing the night time for each resident with a consistent program. Program for noise abatement and staff sensitization on the importance of undisturbed sleep for the aged promotes a quality stay in the aged residents (Rahman& Schnelle, 2002).
In the modern environment, professional health care workers are expected to balance between the quality of care that they offer and containing the costs incurred by the residents. Social health care for the aged is unique from other forms of care because it not only involves helping an individual resident but also the family members. Therefore there are individuals in the environment and the resident in the situation. To ensure effective service the health care provider should focus on the individual cultural needs of the residents and family while anticipating future changes in the environments that services are offered. For instance, aged care has moved from non profit practice to a more profit and service oriented service. This indicates that the services offered should fit within the resident’s financial ability (Sixma, Campen , Kerssens & Peters , 2000). To ensure that the residents experience a good stay that adds value tom their lives, it is necessary that health care providers focus on the primary mission to enhance the resident’s well being. They should pay attention to the vulnerable patients who may be poor or oppressed to meets their needs and empower them to face life with a positive attitude. Through this, the residents are motivated to participate in practices that make them more self reliant hence less costs. The health care provision should focus more on the well being of the residents than the costs likely to be incurred. This reduces costs in the long run (Dziegielewski, 2003; Goldsmith, 1993).
When dealing with the aged, a healthcare service provider deals with diverse populations which may include the homeless, people with suicidal tendencies , mentally and medically ill and those abusing drugs. The health care provider is expected to offer a restoration service to the resident and enhance wellness. Jeon & Fethney (2012), suggest that health care should focus on the self reliance of residents, increased participation in the healing process, care, self fulfillment by the residents. These processes should ensure that a resident’s dignity is preserved because this is what determines the attitude directed towards improving the situation. To adequately meet these needs, it is necessary to assume a person centered care in which the resident is involved in decision making. This also involves respecting their needs and wishes about their health and stay in the residence. The old age residents offer a permanent stay unlike hospitals where patients are offered a place for a quick recuperating. Therefore the old care residences should have home like features which support the usual daily activities and offer the residents an opportunity to manage chronic diseases. This should also foster for a greater involvement by the family members to ensure that they receive love that should be extended from the family (Baggett, 1989). To ensure that the residents’ quality of life is enhanced, client satisfaction should be the main focus. This can be measured through feedback evaluation. This information should be available to the residents’’ families, the health care provides, policy makers and the people involved in service planning. It should be used to make decision concerning the residents and the families should be part of the decision making team (Matiti, 2011; Philp, 2001).
The essence of caring for the aged is getting to know the residents and attaching value to the people as individuals. This is done by learning from them what they expect from you, and the care they want from their own perspective (Flores & Newcomer , 2009). When a health care provider attends to the aged by their wishes, they are likely to get cooperation and tips on how they can serve them better. This gives them the respect, dignity and fairness that they wish to experience while in the aged care residents. Aged people tend to have low communication and functional abilities and they deserve patience and understanding. However poor the communication abilities of an aged person become, health care providers should strive to ensure that they identify the residents individual needs. This enables them to come up with a plan on how to care for them and meet their needs effectively. A slight misunderstanding can have adverse effect because the aged tend to be very temperamental. Therefore for quality health care among the aged, communication and patience are key areas which needs to be addressed (Lindeman, 2003).
Cultural competence is an important area in the care for the aged. To ensure that the cultural needs of the aged are met, it is necessary for health care providers to create a cultural inclusive culture. Health care providers should provide an environment that challenges social evils like discrimination and racism. To ensure that this does not occur, management ensures that this is integrated in the core values known to both the staff and the family members. The aged should also be aware as this implies that the residence cares about their human rights. People from different backgrounds have different believes and roles in the family set up. For instance, some communities have gender specific roles therefore this should be respected. For instance, if a residence feels that a certain role should be served by female attendant, then this should be respected and offered accordingly. Stereotypes for some families or even social interactions should be treated as diversity to ensure a peaceful co existence among members (Baker, 2007). Spirituality and religion is also another area that promotes a good stay for the aged. Respect for ones religion and spirituality indicates a person centered care which is appreciated by the residents. While planning, these should be included to avoid conflict of interested, for instance Muslim women may prefer to be attended by female health care providers. Such wishes should be respected and the religious needs met (MacKinlay, 2006).
Specialized care is important for the healthcare providers to meet specific health requirement for each resident. While all the residents may be old and frail, each one of them has a personal ailment that may inhibit a collective attendance. For instance, one patient may have hearing problems while another one may experience poor eyesight. The health care providers should know each resident’s specific needs because overlooking these needs may lower a resident’s dignity. The residents are diverse in terms of character, likes and dislikes. This makes their aspirations and commitments different, it is therefore necessary that health care providers seek to understand each person’s priorities, needs, interests, capabilities and limits. In cases where a resident’s interests conflict with the standard social norm, this can be resolved by honesty in explaining the expected conduct. Dialogue should be encouraged to ensure that residents also respect each others point of view to enhance a mutual co existence (Smith, 1996; Zimmerman, Sloane & Eckert, 2001).
Some of the aged people may not be self reliant; however they deserve a self identity. This is achieved by respecting their values and recognizing their roles in the society. Health care providers should recognize what the residents have achieved in life. The society often excludes the older people from societal activities and may make them loose their dignity. To restore their self worth in the society, health care providers should work with them by recognizing their achievements and acknowledging them. Physical interference may be offensive to the aged, in such cases, privacy should be respected and any form of interference should be explained adequately. This also involves the respect for the moral well being of an aged person (Colgan, 2009). Hindle (2011) identifies ways in which the dignity of the aged can be maintained. It is essential to note that some practices which may seem okay are offensive. For example; Mixed bays that accommodate both sexes may not be acceptable and this should be avoided, The aged don’t like being rushed therefore there is a need for patience, They should be given an opportunity to choose meals and not be forced to follow a particular menu, Bibs meant for babies may offend the aged, napkins could be used instead. The aged should never be viewed as a bother but should be attended to with enthusiasm, this also promotes their cooperation.
Health care for the aged is an essential requirement in adding value to the lives. This is achieved by providing a person centered health care that promotes dignity. When health care providers understand the individual needs, likes, dislikes and capabilities, they are in a position to attend to the aged adequately. To understand them better, the aged and their families are involved in decision making. This promotes the healing process for their frequent illnesses and promotes cooperation. Meeting individual needs provides a home environment for the aged and adds grace to their ageing.

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