Term Paper: Home-Care versus Skilled Nursing Home
When taking time to think about it, we can notice that today there are more and more controversial issues judgments on which cannot be regarded as black and white. One of such issues is what kind of care should the children offer to their elderly parents: the home-care or the skilled nursing home care. There is much to say about this topic because many of its aspects are rather ambiguous. The aim of my paper is to present the reader with my opinion on the matter of option of care for the elderly. To begin with, I intend to provide two articles on the topic I have came across while researching, summarize, analyze and compare them. Upon that I will provide my own opinion on this controversial subject that will go hand in hand with the articles.
Both of the articles that I am going to review here will be talking about the current elderly-care system in the United States of America. In addition, these articles define groups of the elderly suffering from chronic diseases as well as what levels of chronic diseases there are. The first article starts off with introducing the reader to the very important concept of frailty. Frailty is fragility of the body systems that comes to one with age. The author mentions that fragility can not be regarded as an illness because an illness is something that is acquired unintentionally, while frailty is a natural way of body reserves to diminish with age. This concept is very important for the topic, because at times frailty is diagnosed as an illness, misleading the doctors with its symptoms that may have nothing to do with the disease (Article 1).
The authors of articles discuss the Health Care System of the United States and its shortcomings. In the first article it is stated that the system is suited mainly for the young people by providing them with treatments for almost every illness. However, the system tends to be rather ineffective with the elderly people who cannot be cured by one particular operation or medication. Those people in fact require continuous care, the concept of which is still not widely recognized. In fact, the authors of the second article support this opinion and also suggest that changes have to be made.
According to the first article elderly people with chronic diseases can be split into three groups according to the level and speed of the decline in their health condition. These groups are: short period of evident decline group, long term limitations with intermittent and sudden death. The second article written by Lynn and Adamson also defines co-nations of the chronic illness that are: nonfatal chronic illness, serious, eventually fatal chronic conditions and frailty (2003).
The main idea of both of the discussed articles is that elderly people should not be only diagnosed, but should be supervised and cared for, beyond the simple diagnose. The second article also presents that not only the Health Care System has changed over the years but also the way people pass away has altered. Today many more people die in the hospitals, this can be explained firstly because people take more care about themselves now and are ready to go to the hospital and invest into treatment and also because less and less families choose home care as the option.
Thus, the authors suggest that the system should be changed in order to suit the needs of the elderly. The first article gives a brief introduction into programs of this kind that addresses the shortcomings of the Health Care System that is the Program of All Inductive Care of the Elderly (PACE).
In my opinion, the first article discussed provides a much deeper insight into the matter. The article first of all, gives introduction into the current situation in the Health Care System and further relates the problems the elderly may have to it. It is supported by the research results and it suggests possible actions aimed at improving the situation in the Health Care sector. Moreover, the first article emphasizes that home care should be a preferred way of care for the elderly – the opinion that I also hold.
Lower, I would like to come back to the question of whether elderly should be cared for at home or should be institutionalized. It has to be recognized that both ways of care have arguments that speak against them and for them. I strongly consider that it is better for the elders to stay in their own homes, where they know their neighbors and can associate memories with furniture and objects around them, rather than move to an institution as they grow old. However, in order to fulfill this desire there should be somebody trustworthy who would take care of various tasks. For this purpose specially trained personnel should be hired or one of the family members should become a caregiver. In any situation when an elderly is cared for at home, the family one may be sure that he/she is receiving the proper care, while this is not so in the nursing homes (Wynne, 2008). However, home care is an exhausting experience for the caregiver and may not be suitable emotionally and physically for some families. When it comes to the nursing homes care, from one point one releases him/herself from the burden of caring for the elderly. Though, this way of care does not ensure that the elderly is receiving proper care as well as he/she would be happy in the new surrounding.
In conclusion I would like to say that the needed changes in the present Health Care system should be introduced as soon as possible to match the needs of the elderly. Very much attention should be paid to this question because the young people should remember that they ought to treat their elders the way they would like to be treated themselves. Also, I consider that becoming of old age is a rough experience for the person, in order to make this experience less painful and pleasant it is vital to consider home care option.
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