Home Health Care for Patients during the Flu Season
Overview of the Community
People aged over 65 years are at greater risk of complications arising from flu compared to young and healthy adults. This is attributed to the fact that the human immune response and defense tend to weaken with age. Whereas the flu season may differ in severity, the elderly endure the greatest burden and risk of flu. In the past, surveys estimated that approximately between 71 to 85 percent of those aged over 65 years succumbed to flu-related illnesses as compared to 54 to 70 percent of the youthful population (Black et al., 2015). Despite the efforts by the government to reduce the disparities in healthcare, inequalities have been witnessed among the vulnerable members of the community including the economically disadvantaged, ethnic minorities, elderly, homeless, and those with mental illnesses, among others. However, the focus of this study is on the provision of home-based care to the elderly members aged over 65 years. This investigation seeks to delve into the human rights, medical needs, and home-based health care associated with this community.
The number of older population is expected to surge exponentially in United States. Healthcare needs must promptly adapt to these needs. Particularly, medical practitioners must identify strategies of enabling the older population to live independently and access home-based service. Also, they must dissect strategies for providing healthcare services and education for the elderly. Lastly, nurses must ensure that the elderly access long-term healthcare at home. Studies estimate that approximately 80 percent of the elderly suffer from at least one chronic disease such as arthritis, diabetes or heart diseases (CDC, 2017). Chronic diseases witnessed among the elderly impacts on the quality of healthcare and cost. CDC has revealed that 70 percent of healthcare cost in United States goes to elderly suffering from flu related and chronic illnesses (CDC, 2017). The elderly turns to relatives and nurses when sick. Lifestyle of the elderly is partly responsible for their illnesses since it is devoid of exercise and healthy diet. As a result, their immune systems are weakened thus exposing them to flu-related illnesses. Health promotions through awareness creation are crucial in protecting the elderly during the flu season. There is a need to change their perception regarding chronic illnesses and flu-related diseases. Therefore, they should be enlightened on how to stay safe and limit instances of illness.
The major issue affecting the elderly is on how to access health care services at home. They have myriad medical health conditions and are vulnerable because they access low-quality health care. Consequently, during the flu season, they are likely to develop flu-related diseases. Studies reveal that flu-related illnesses can degenerate into syndromes, psychological problems, and physiological impairments (Lindley et al., 2017). The elderly are in dire need of quality healthcare services during the flu season. Therefore, nurses must adjust appropriately to provide the much needed help at home.
The issues to be assessed and analyzed include;
How should nurses improve healthcare and quality of life for the elderly during flu season?
How do health practitioners improve interpersonal interactions when offering home-based care?
What are the roles of nurses during flu season?
What are the types of intervention initiatives put in place to produce positive health outcomes?
These issues have not been dealt with appropriately in the past. First, the elderly have consistently been receiving approximately a half of the home-based healthcare recommended for them. Second, they are often subjectively treated depending on the prevailing conditions. Third, the elderly are not given appropriate preventive care services because heath care providers are concerned with diagnosis and treatment activities. Fourth, the elderly with chronic illnesses suffer most because nurses tend to deal with their chronic issues at the expense of the flu-related diseases. Lastly, studies reveal that health care practitioners fail to prescribe the recommended medications for the elderly patients (Lindley et al., 2017).
Social Impact of the Issue
Primary vaccination services are currently available at medical facilities to protect the elderly during flu season. Studies affirm that vaccination is critical for the elderly as they are at high risk of flu-related complications (Lee et al., 2015). Moreover, flu vaccines are frequently modernized to ensure that they address mutating viruses and fading immunities observed on the elderly. The elderly are eligible for such services and the cost is covered by the government. This impacts positively on the elderly as it ensures that they are protected from flu viruses thereby prolonging their lives.
Analyzing the Issue
Major strengths of home-based care for the elderly during flu season include the provision of cheaper services and greater interdependence in service provision. Additionally, the quality of service is improved due to close contact and family involvement. On the contrary, the weaknesses include limited healthcare choices for the patients and poor observance of patient rights. In most cases, heath care providers operate without close supervision thereby jeopardizing service provision. Therefore, home-based care for the elderly should be improved through the provision of services in strict observance to patient rights and under maximum supervision. Notably, funding is from federal government in form of medical insurance packages for the elderly. The paper recommends the need for more healthcare reforms for the elderly to amicably address pertinent issues.
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